How Much More Craft Beer Can the Market Really Bear?

craft beer allagash

In a response to an earlier opinion piece entitled “America Now Has Over 3,000 Craft Breweries—and That’s Not Necessarily Great for Beer Drinkers” Joshua M. Bernstein, writing for Bon Appétit, explains how the increased number of craft breweries may cause problems for the market. He argues that the growing number of craft breweries—which, he cites, is up 18 percent in the first half of 2014, according to the Brewers Association—will inevitably lead to “increasingly crowded store shelves and scroll-length tap lists, brewers are relying on fresh new beer labels, brand extensions, festivals, and even lagers, taking on Miller and Bud at their own game.” 

For a part of the market that is still incredibly small, the problem isn’t sheer growth or aiming to stand out, it’s about how brewers intend to compete in a crowded field. If that means cutting prices and focusing on beers that can be produced in more volume, Sam Calagione of Dogfishhead warns that “there is going to be a bloodbath, and that might be something the world’s biggest brewers want.” [Bon Appétit] [Image: Flickr/Allagash Brewing]