With beer sales declining for the large breweries, it is obvious that there is a need to increase the scope of niche markets that can be highly profitable. The Craft beer market is gaining ‘traction’ in the United States with more people open to trying a craft style beer, or import brand over a mainstream product.
When we think of ‘Craft Beer’ it is often hard to know where to start, as many names are beers we have not heard of, but are beers that have funny sounding names, or descriptions that are more attune to a Starbucks Latte, than a malt and hop beer. The big boys have woken up to the fact that craft beer is on the rise, with mainstream beer sales falling flat.
I could sit on either side of the fence, as I wouldn’t choose to drink either beer, but i know people that would try them, as one is owned by Coors, and the other is owned by Budweiser. These are brand names that people feel comfortable with and ultimately names that they can buy without fear of retribution by friends or colleagues.
My first experience with Blue Moon was in Boston a couple of years back, it was a nice beer that I couldn’t fault for being a bad beer, but it was enjoyable in the time and place I was in. Blue Moon is by no means a comparable beer to a Widmer Heferweisen, but it is as segway for Coors drinkers to try a Craft style beer.
Anheuser Busch are making huge strides to break into the craft beer market, as they released ‘American Ale’ that is meant to appeal to drinkers of Budweiser to change to a craft beer, and also appeal to craft beer drinkers to buy an AB-Inbev product. This beer is not a bad beer, but ultimately it is still made for mass market appeal. Would be surprised if they sales have been strong enough to continue with more styles.
Yes Craft beer is on the rise and articles like this one in Chicago point out that the beer wars between the big boys are only in the beginning stages. There is no right or wrong answer as to whether its a craft beer or not, but the market is changing to include more Craft Styles in the US, which is a great thing.