Ah yes, the new year. When millions of people put together resolutions to eat healthier, go to the gym, or be better humans only for those aspirations to be crushed under the weight of excuses, excuses, excuses. At least craft beer will always be there for you. Or will it?
No, it will. But what will the craft beer landscape of 2016 look like? With the help of a few industry sources, I've polished off the
The Year of Craft Cider
Big brewers are already getting into the mass-market cider game, bringing more options to consumers with the Boston Beer Company's Angry Orchard leading the way with a now 60 percent volume share in the market. The company, most famous for their Boston Lager, saw a 102 percent growth in 2014, with the sweet stuff flying off shelves left and right. AB InBev’s Stella Artois Cidre wasn't too far behind, exhibiting the strongest percentage growth of 158 percent.
A Euromonitor International study dated June 2015 declares, "There is a movement to make dry and semi-dry ciders. Industry experts believe that re-education is happening with cider." That new cider knowledge will get people interested in the many variations that are available.
Apple is the most dominant flavor of cider, but alternatives such as pear (perry) will make strong inroads.
We saw this growth first hand with the opening of our first cider makers in the area, Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks in West Palm Beach. I wouldn't be surprised to see another cider maker pop up in Broward county.
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether AB InBev’s recent purchases of five large beverage wholesalers in three states will unfairly squeeze out smaller distributors and the craft products they carry.
Mergers and acquisitions will continue to happen. Look for more regional breweries to be bought out similar to breweries like Lagunitas Brewing Company (of which Heineken acquired 50 percent) or Ballast Point (of which Constellation Brands, the owners of Corona, purchased in 2015 for $1 billion).
"There are over a dozen deals in the pipeline right now," Sixpoint Brewery shared on Reddit last month. "So unless the deal falls apart, all of these should hit the wires in the next year. There will be an undercurrent to bring craft beer back to its roots, just as there was in the mid to late '
Because of these changes, the Brewer's Association may decide to redefine its definition of "craft" to protect its growth numbers and, of course, membership fee revenue. At the end of the day, Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors LLC will continue to hold on to almost 73 percent of the American beer market.
Continued Growth of Sessionable Beers
The English know quite well the value of low-alcohol,
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Beer as a whole, including some aspects of craft beer, will be going global. According to the Barth-Haas Group ("the world's largest supplier of hop products and services"), emerging markets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America could help expand worldwide beer consumption.
Per-capita consumption in China is just over half that of the United States, providing brewers the opportunity for growth in that country. Sales in China are expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of about 6 percent from 2013 through 2018, according to Euromonitor. It's a sign of an increased economy and an increase in desire for Western goods.
The industry expects the African continent to be a key growth market as economic development there continues. South Africa, Cameroon, and Kenya are Africa’s leading beer-consuming countries per capita. Nonalcoholic beer is driving growth in nations with large Muslim populations in Africa as well as the Middle East. Beer, and even beer-like
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.