In an industry with such monumental growth in recent years, it’s no wonder people are asking all sorts of questions these days. Interest for beer is at an all-time high, which means curiosity among enthusiasts is right there to match.
Lately, however, if people aren’t asking “what’s the next IPA?” it’s been something along the lines of “when do you think this bubble will burst?” The fate of beer is a popular armchair quarterback activity, often based on ideas of vanity stats like the number of breweries in the country instead of where things stand culturally and economically.
Sometimes I feel this discussion is almost as ubiquitous as putting beer into cans.
At the core of each of those news stories – and most conversations I’ve had on the topic – is that people see the fast growth in overall number of US breweries, try to translate what that number means to them personally and assign a judgment based on their expectations and experiences, assuming things must be heading in a bad direction.
But what if Sam Calagione’s “bloodbath” of fallen craft brewers isn’t coming? That was a prediction made two years ago, after all.
Instead, what we’ve seen over the last five years is an influx of smartly created businesses increasing sales and prices – all the while met by demand.