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Growth of Craft Beer

Interesting story in the local rag in which the Oregon Brewer’s Guild claims that 50% of the beer poured in Oregon is brewed in state and 60% of the beer poured in Portland is. ... incart_hbx#incart_best-of

I’m not against the American light lager, I just wish it wasn’t so dominant. It has it’s place, but it should be one of just many options available to the consumer. The growth of craft beer shows me that BMC hasn’t hit the sweet spot in brewing what the vast majority of people prefer to drink, just that their marketing has succeeded in convincing people that it has.

I think you said it all. When marketing is perceived as entertainment (witness the Super Bowl), the big budget advertisers have the upper hand, for sure, but when people realize it has nothing to do with product quality, the craft guys can get a foot in the door. But at my house way more beer than any other that is poured is… HOMEBREW!


I also think the majority of American’s who drink beer want to be able to drink 6-12 at a time so the light lagers are the 'go-to" for the heavy drinkers. I used to be that way but now that I make my own and enjoy different styles of beer I really can’t drink more than 3 at a time. Usually at that point my taste buds have desensitized enough to where I won’t be able to enjoy the next beer as much.

But the marketing and price is pretty much where craft beer faulters and where Miller and Bud win. Why spend $11 bucks for a six pack of craft beer when you can get 12-18 beers for the same price of Bud?

The craft beer world is growing and I am stoked that I live in Minnesota where craft beer is making a push. I want to be able to travel to other major craft beer cities and see what other breweries are doing.

It the same with food. All the advertising is for McDonalds and Taco Bell. Mass produced slop.
The local joints that make real food usually can’t compete with them on price, visibility or availability, but their product speaks for itself.

I think this is an interesting point. I find myself actually enjoying some of the ridiculous Coors Light commercials, when they’re jumping around on icebergs and rappelling down ice caverns. That said, do I drink Coors? No, I’ve had 1/2 of a can of it in my life, but I can see how liking the commercial’s entertainment value translates into beer sales.

There’s a lot going on and I think TheNerdyGnome hit it on the head: Americans want to drink several beers in the same situation, whether it’s dinner, watching football, or doing yard work. Having a beer in hand feels good and if you can only have 2-3, then the experience feels cheated somewhat.

Then we get into the idea that most people, because of the first reason, are cheap. They don’t want to spend the money to buy good beer. Let’s use Fat Tire as an example… it costs about $15 for a 12 pack, while $15 can get you way more crappy beer. Look at Rogue brewery and the cost for an equivalent amount.
The Star Tribune here in Minnesota just did a piece on micro breweries and the cost associated with them. It featured the guys from Fulton who talked about various factors. It was interesting.

On top of all of that, there is the marketing that you guys have mentioned already. Not only does Bud, etc, have huge ad budgets, but most micro brews just don’t have the knowledge to market themselves in a successful modern day way. Social media has made it infinitely easier to do this, but a lot of people A) don’t see the benefit, B) “don’t have the time” C) don’t know what to say or do and don’t build the right digital foundation to make it work, like a responsive, SEO-strong website. Even a nice new site like thing Lift Bridge just launched has many issues.

I work at a digital agency and I see small breweries that could kick ass, but they just don’t know what to do and aren’t willing to invest in it. This is also caused by huge prices associated with help from agencies like mine. I’ve been trying to push for partnerships… imagine 50 kegs beer traded for a new website. It hasn’t happened yet.

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