Posts Tagged ‘craft beers’

 

The brewing industries in many countries are undergoing dramatic changes, with increasing numbers of craft breweries challenging the traditional volume-based business model of major corporations.

In the US for example, more than 400 breweries opened in 2012, an increase of 17% from the year before. Craft beer continues to grow even when beer consumption overall is declining in many markets around the world. This certainly seems to be the trend in countries like the US, Canada, New Zealand and indeed Australia.

In 1990, the centralisation of the Australian beer industry seemed complete; three companies controlled the market and the whole country had just 11 breweries. Yet this seems to have been the turning point rather than the end state: 20 years later the craft beer sector had well and truly made its entrance so that by 2013, Australia’s beer industry consists of over 130 breweries.

The trend suggests craft breweries have found a niche market where the large breweries find it hard to compete. Craft beer is often differentiated by taste, as a food companion and by the raw material used to produce it. Enthusiasts sometimes refer to the common beers in derogatory terms as “fizzy yellow lagers”. Some may reject mainstream beer products based on a perceived lack of flavour; others reject it based on ownership of the label.

Some pub mangers around Melbourne refuse to serve beers that are not produced by small independent companies due to negative attitudes towards large multinational businesses, and a belief that craft beer can only be produced by small and independent businesses. Independent craft breweries have been able to make something positive out of their small size by framing themselves as unique and it is resonating with drinkers and pub owners alike.

While beer consumption in Australia has decreased steadily every year since 1979, consumers increasingly demand quality beers and the consumption of craft beers is increasing. ABC news reported that the consumption of craft beer in Australia is increasing by 6% every year. Nevertheless, the beer industry in Australia is still largely centralised, with multinationals SAB Miller (UK) and Kirin Holding (Japan) controlling about 90% of the market.

Yet it is this very high centralisation of the industry, where the large players can be regarded as “generalists”, that provides the opening for small players to enter the market as “specialists”. For craft breweries, such concentration of power in the industry is actually good news because these breweries serve a different market.

The specialists are often focused on selling more than just beer. They are selling an experience, quite often centred on educating consumers about beer styles and how to match it with food. As such, the craft beer industry is tapping into the monopoly of the wine industry as being the natural beverage to accompany a meal.

 

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We are serving beer at the dinner table tonight!

We are serving beer at the dinner table tonight!

Now with over 2,000 breweries operating across the country that produce a wide variety of beer – more people are choosing a craft beer while enjoying a nice meal –over a bottle of wine or a mixed cocktail.

In the mood for a steak? Instead of a Cabernet Sauvignon for your rib eye, try a brown ale like Moose Drool Brown Ale. Think white wine is the only thing that goes with fish? Try a Belgian Witbier or Belgian White beer instead.

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

“I think just the flavors and all the uniqueness of all the craft beers that are out there just provide a lot of value for the customers,” said Raul Gonzalez, owner and executive chef of Rulis’ International Kitchen in El Paso, Texas. “With the way the economy’s been, people are looking out. They are trying to get bang for their buck,” said Gonzalez.
A craft beer costs someone $4 or 5 for a pint or bottle, whereas a glass of wine can be as much as $15, with even moderately-priced bottles starting at $25. Gonzalez said his customers generally aren’t as intimated by ordering a bottle of beer, as they are when picking wine.
“I think wine for the longest time, people assumed it’s only for the rich, only for the knowledgeable,” said Gonzalez. “Beer is so much easier to access,” he added.
Adrian Perez, a craft brands manager with L&F Distributing in El Paso, said he’s seen many wine drinkers make the transition to beer. “When they hear ‘hops,’ ‘malty’, ‘bitter,’ ‘sweet’ – they’re curious to see how it is so they break that old niche they had,” said Perez.
In Gonzalez’s restaurant the wine list is getting shorter while the beer list has expanded –a trend that those the hospitality business say extends to wine and beer stores in El Paso.
“The craft beer sales are off the chart here in El Paso. Compared to five, maybe seven years ago we had maybe a dozen labels, now we’re in the hundreds,” said Perez.

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