Posts ByJulie Rhodes, Author at PorchDrinking.com
“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Mark Twain
For most craft beer industry workers, this couldn’t ring more true. The idea of turning a homebrewing hobby or a passion for craft beer into a flourishing career seems like a dream scenario. The way other people’s eyes light up when someone mentions they work in craft beer is priceless. Feeling like you have a job that others outside of the industry can only wildly dream about makes beer folks feel as though they have something really special, but are things really that great, or is the beer labor force being gaslit by the false pretense of job satisfaction, security and just plain fun? As the industry matures and evolves, being one of the “cool kids” in the beer industry isn’t all backslaps and beer shots, it’s become more about workers’ rights, workplace safety, and earning a living wage.
Friday, June 24th, 2022 will forever go down in the craft beer history tomes as the day that the fiercely independent, “loud and proud” antithesis to “fizzy yellow beer,” Stone Brewing, was purchased in its entirety by the internationally famous for “fizzy yellow beer” conglomerate, Sapporo USA. As malt enthusiasts rose from their slumber and checked their social media feeds, widespread media coverage of the buyout hit the wires at about 3:00 am on this morning. For anyone who has followed the business side of the craft beer industry for the last couple of decades, this was no surprise.
Every year, the Brewers Association publishes its Industry Review issue of The New Brewer magazine, which gives craft beer industry members a snapshot of how each brewery segment of the industry has performed over the past year in terms of production and sales levels. This edition never fails to disappoint with a plethora of juicy statistics for beer data nerds to chew on and brewery ownership to postulate about the future of the craft beer market landscape. This year was not without its share of surprises, with the likes of a non-alcoholic beer brand entering the mix and even more appearances by well-known breweries now functioning as “beverage” companies enjoying success with products that go beyond the typical ale or lager. And while that sexy 8% overall segment growth rate gets industry folks all excited, it’s not without some fine print. It’s one thing to take these rankings on the nose and pass judgment on where the craft beer industry is heading, but there are some really interesting finds in this data if you learn to read between the lines.
For a vast number of current and aspiring beer professionals, the annual Craft Brewers Conference hosted by the Brewers Association is THE go-to industry conference for all things beer-related. It’s four full days of seminars, workshops, and social networking events, plus a seemingly endless trade show floor ripe with vendors enthusiastically waiting to sell you everything from gaskets and exotic hops to insurance and glycol systems. Most attendees return home with swag bags full of branded goodies and heads full of ideas. But what’s the true return on investment (ROI) of attending the Craft Brewers Conference when it comes to growing the bottom line of your brewery business? If you or your team didn’t attend the conference, this will give you some insight into what was missed and for those that did attend, some ideas for how to revisit sessions and take advantage of all that was offered to help you optimize the business side of your brewery.
After surviving a dismal Q1 of 2022, the craft beer industry can finally breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to more sunny skies for the remainder of 2022. A recent smattering of craft beer industry updates from trade associations, allied trade partners, and data aggregates are providing craft breweries more light at the end of their pandemic market tunnel. The general consensus is optimistic, whether it’s Bart Watson from the Brewers Association relaying his confidence about 2022 for craft brewers or 76% of craft brewers themselves waxing positive about sales growth this year in the 2022 Brewing Growth Trends Report from Arryved. It’s time to break out your sunglasses beer folks, let’s take a look at the brighter state of the craft beer industry (with some occasional clouds) heading into the remainder of 2022.
Back in July 2021, the Biden Administration issued Executive Order 14,036 focused on “Promoting Competition in the American Economy.” An Executive Order is a broad directive from the Executive Branch that sometimes can act as an immediate law. The goal of Biden’s EO last year was to draw attention to consolidation and competition in various industries in order to provide benefits to consumers in the form of better service, more product choices, and lower prices, as well as provide guidance for regulatory agencies to provide a more level playing field for small businesses. In this instance, Executive Order 14,036 specifically addresses competition in the beer, wine, and spirits industry.