Archive: General

The Current State of the U.S. Craft Beer Market

Craft beer isn’t what it used to be, at least when it comes to volume growth, which occurs now at much slower rates than in the not-too-distant past. After several years of double-digit volume growth rates, U.S. craft beer in 2016 grew at the slowest pace since the recessionary downturn of 2008 – until a still slower rate was measured for 2017, that is. Simultaneously, however, one noteworthy segment of the market, microbrewers (those brewing 15,000 or fewer 31-gallon barrels per year), showed that some hallmarks of the craft beer scene of yesterday remain relevant to today’s beer drinkers. Specifically, these small, independently owned and operated companies were the fastest moving component of the craft beer category, handily outperforming the […]

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BREAKING TRADITION WITH BARRELS, KEGS AND GROWLERS

From the iconic images of barrels and kegs at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany to the rows of art-laden cans at your local bottle shop, beverage containers matter. More than ever, the containers used to store, transport and dispense beer, wine and spirits are sales and marketing tools, and it’s time to start looking at them as such. Your Kegs deserve An Upgrade Josh Fast, Manager of Marketing and Internal Sales for SCHÄFER Container Systems, is excited about the future of kegs. “The standard keg design hasn’t been upgraded in probably 70 years, but we’re changing that and showing that there are better options,” he said. “Thanks to the local craft beer industry, expectations have noticeably increased for breweries and pubs […]

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Where to Spend Your Marketing Dollars on a Tight Brewery Budget

Despite growing indications of saturation in some markets, the craft beer segment’s growth continues apace. In 2015, the U.S. brewery count officially passed the previous all-time, high-water mark, set way back in 1873. According to the Brewers Association, there were more than 4,100 craft breweries in the country at the end of last year. That figure is almost certain to rise when it’s re-tallied this quarter. It’s now a question of if, not when, we’ll break through the 5,000-brewery mark. Craft beer’s popularity is a double-edged knife, of course. New breweries can no longer count on standing out simply by virtue of being new, local, or edgy. And traction is no longer a virtual guarantee, as was the case back […]

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Sanitation in the Brewery: Keep Your Sanity

Brewing is a combination of art and science, requiring specialized and well-maintained equipment, ingredients, exact temperatures, caustic chemicals, knowledgeable staff and all-around safety. Vessels and equipment must be maintained to run effectively and efficiently. The most critical components to maintaining equipment are cleaning and sanitation. Just like in brewing, a well thought and executed recipe for cleaning must be followed. The proper cleaning recipe consists of four ingredients: time, temperature, chemical action and mechanical action. “Your trial and error, and finding the correct balance of each ingredient is what makes this recipe custom to your tanks, tuns and all vessels,” said Russ Wehrle, Global Sales Manager for Butterworth, Inc., Tank Cleaning Machines and Systems. “Work smarter, not harder. Put your […]

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DEVELOP A PARTNERSHIP WITH LIKE MINDED DISTRIBUTORS

  Great liquid is only one aspect of making your brand a customer favorite. To become truly brand loyal, people need to find your beverages in places they want to be. As much as taprooms, distilleries and drinking clubs serve as community cornerstones, the path of consistent exposure in the marketplace is traveled in partnership with like-minded distributors. Oversaturation is a valid concern right now for beer producers. To date, the category has five consecutive years of declining sales—even while craft brews experienced a 4.9 percent increase in 2017. These volume losses indicate there’s a limited number of consumers interested in mainstream brands overall, but greater support of aspects such as locality, taste, innovation and story. While distilled spirits had […]

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Improving Your Business and Protecting Your Workers

How many business owners and business managers really buy into the fact that when you protect your workers you are improving your business? The key factors focused on by most employers are increasing revenue and reducing the operational costs. Of course, this makes sense, however, the operational costs can be affected by increased and frequent worker turn-over, rising workers’ compensation premiums, absence of workers due to injuries, training of new workers, and fines imposed by regulatory agencies for an employer’s failure to protect workers. The purpose of this article is to provide information to help business owners assess how they can take proactive steps to improve their business by protecting their workers. Cost of Worker Turn-over It only makes sense […]

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Amorada Tequila – the Essence of Passion

For many Americans— as well as others throughout the world — enjoying tequila means downing a shot of the spirit with a dash of salt and a slice of lime. To Terray Glasman, founder of Austin-based Amorada Tequila, the drink is much more than an alcoholic beverage. Rather, it’s a reflection of her culture, with memories of food, love, laughter and celebrations complimented by the special juice from the agave that flourishes in the hills surrounding Jalisco, Mexico. From these memories — and respect for tradition — Glasman created an ultra-premium spirit to be sipped and savored, much like fine wine, packaged in beautiful hand-crafted bottles, each a one-of-a-kind work of art. Born in Mexico City, it was Glasman’s Mexican […]

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Technology Makes Its Way Into the Craft Beverage Business

Whoever thought brewing and distilling would become a high-tech pursuit? In a sense, they have become just that. Software is taking over some aspects of brewers’ and distillers’ businesses – areas like accounting, inventory, packaging, purchasing, sales, scheduling, quality control, compliance and mobile apps – and allowing operators to concentrate on what they love: making and selling their dream beverage. Not every craft brewery or distillery employs a software platform, but an increasing number of operators are turning to high-tech help. Technology likely will make its way to Indianapolis-based New Day Craft, producers of modern craft mead and hard cider, said Tia Agnew, co-founder and CEO. “The larger you get, the more organized you need to be to ensure all […]

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Blue Ox Malthouse: A Conduit Between Communities

For Joel Alex, a maltster is a conduit between communities, a craft to its source, a farmer to a creator, a producer to a customer. As a homebrewing enthusiast with a background in environmental education and community development, Alex, founder of Blue Ox Malthouse in Lisbon Falls, Maine, became a change agent for agriculture in the Pine Tree State after a conversation at a farm potluck. “A craft brewer and I discussed the lack of local ingredients available in the industry due to lack of malting capacity. The light bulb went off! Somebody had to do this!” he told Beverage Master Magazine. “I had friends growing grains and other friends getting into milling grains and brewing beer. The idea just […]

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Good News for the Industry! From California to New York City

Consumer goods, particularly goods containing alcohol or tobacco, are an easy target for new regulations introduced by elected officials. They argue that new regulations are required to protect the consumer from excessive prices or to promote health or safety. Occasionally, though the apparent benefit for the consumer might seem obvious at least to the consumer, the real benefit, once the smoke and mirrors are pushed aside, is negligible. In all cases, compliance with a new regulation affecting a business segment requires some effort by a manager or owner of an affected company. Figuratively, the compliance burden may be just a tiny ripple in a barrel, or the burden might cause the barrel to tip and spill precious profits on the […]

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