Over the past couple of years, all businesses have had to get used to using terms like: Adapt and Pivot and Go with the flow. These are all words and sayings that we thought we may be able to leave behind last year. Instead, for the past twelve months, the ever-changing COVID situation has continued to put hurdles in the way on our roads to recovery. This is especially true for craft breweries, bars, and other points of alcohol distribution. The continued effects are now dominating what the craft beer industry trends look like as we progress into this next year.
While the future of the craft beer industry seems a little foggy, one thing is clear, craft breweries are here to stay. Brewers and business owners continue to move forward, innovating and finding new and different ways to survive in a very competitive market. Hopefully, this will be the year, they not only survive, but thrive.
One move that craft breweries are making to increase business is brewing more products that appeal to a wider range of new consumers. Because of this, we are seeing that the “average” American drinker is becoming progressively more diverse and now includes many more women in the category. So much so, that the number of drinkers in the US in their early twenties, skews more heavily toward females than males. The rising number of alcoholic beverage consumers no longer fit into the stereotypical male demographic the industry has targeted for a long time.
Brewers have also been able to attract a more loyal audience, not only by brewing a wider variety of options to choose from, but also by having a purpose and a story that fits what they do and why they do it. As this new year gets under way, younger consumers are looking for breweries to do more than just make beer. They want to know what a company believes and how they’re using their platform to move the industry forward.
Many brewers began with a story or a mission and have grown from within. With this story, they have attracted consumers with the same mindset to help build their business. These purpose-driven consumers will continue to drive the beer industry. They are willing to pay more for a manufacturers product that is in-line with their personal values. Whether it be sustainability, organic, veterans support, against gun violence, homelessness, or even non-alcoholic production, many have a cause or purpose that is associated with their products. This attracts and unites people from many different demographics.
Many craft brewers have done well moving and pivoting to continue gaining attention for their brands. Unfortunately, with the competition and the continuing evolution of consumer habits, these moves may not be sufficient enough to be their last. They must keep riding the tide!