It’s the battle of the brews, craft beer vs. the big brand beer.
Craft beer has been the underdog for many years but has resurged in the last 30 years, and is making a comeback in a big way.
History of the Craft Beer
Before Prohibition was in place starting in 1920, there were around 1,100 breweries in America. After Prohibition ended in 1933 with the enactment of the 21stAmendment, only 300 breweries emerged to renew their brewing, according to the Brewers Association. The future for craft breweries did not look so bright. It wasn’t until the 1970’s when home brewers began learning how to make the beer they could no longer buy that craft beer began to reemerge. Home brewers started their own small breweries and the revival had begun. There are now an estimated 2,700-3,000 craft brewers in the U.S., more than double the number there were before Prohibition.
Craft beer took a big hit when Prohibition was enacted, and has been striving to reenter the beer market ever since. Big beer brands like Anheuser-Busch and Miller-Coors have dominated the beer market since and own 90% of domestic beer. Regional craft beer breweries now account for about 7% of domestic beer sales. This may not seem like an impressive number, but it’s been steadily growing since the early 1990’s, while the big brewer’s share is declining, according to National Public Radio. In fact, in 2013 craft beer outsold Budweiser at 16.1 million barrels in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal. The fact that craft labels make up 14% of the market and outsold Budweiser, the third largest brand in the country, says an awful lot about America’s changing taste in alcohol and of the revival of craft beer.
Craft Brewers have succeeded in establishing high levels of quality, consistency and innovation, expanding the minds of the beer consumers and creating the most diverse brewing culture in the world. People want choice, diversity, originality, quality, personality, passion and flavor. All of these are apart of the qualities and foundation of craft beer, and have helped in grow in modern times. People are willing to try new things and are looking for a more unique taste than the typical commercial beer you can find at any liquor store, bar, or restaurant. This drive for a unique and new experience has had a major impact on the success of craft beer in the last 30 years.
Big Beer Response
Big beer brands like Anheuser-Busch and Miller-Coors are also aware of not oblivious to the craft beer craze going on. In fact, they’re starting to make their own phony craft beers to compete. Shock Top and Blue Moon are examples of these phony craft beers and are actually owned by Anheuser-Busch and Miller-Coors, respectively. While these big brand beers still own a majority of the beer market, they are feeling the pressure from the enormous rise of craft beers, and their ever-increasing chunk out of the big brand beer sales.
Truly craft brewers and craft beer drinkers are participants in a revolution. There has never been a better time or place to drink beer than in the U.S. right now. The once dwindling market for craft beer has come back bigger and better than before. At Julio’s Liquors we have joined the craft beer revolution, and strive to carry the best local craft beers to the most highly acclaimed regional craft beers. Contact us today to learn more about our craft beer selection, or stop in and see for yourself!