- Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less.
- Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.
Craft Brewers Conference 2012: The ultimate keg party with classroom etiquette
May 7th, 2012 · 1 Comment
http://www.craftbrewersconference.com/ At one panel discussion I heard a panelist tell aspiring and experienced beer makers, “Google is the best place to get a local story out to the masses since the large beer companies take up so much advertising space to promote their brands. Find your community, get local press and push it out via the internet so others know about you.” Like the Wild Goose Cannery hosting a one-hour event with free beer so they can demo their bottling/canning production system and there were several of those happening. The message: do what you can to get in front of people to grow your business in ways that make sense to the brand. It was the ultimate keg party with classroom etiquette and the premier event occurred Thursday night. Imagine almost 200 beers on tap in one outdoor patio area and not at a bar. Imagine the majority of the micro brew industry there talking beers with old friends and new ones, cups with suds in hand. The long list of beers from all over the country was mind-boggling and an impressive way for beer makers and brewery employees to share their passion and express their opinion. Let’s say the men restrooms was busier than the women’s. Meg Gill, a Yale grad, is a beacon for encouraging more women to jump into the fermentation tank and join into the boys’ club of beer with the likes of New Belgium Brewing co-founder and pioneer, Kim Jordan. Meg is now the youngest female brewery owner in the world and previously worked at Oskar Blues Brewery out of Colorado, the home state of New Belgium (Fat Tire), and Speakeasy Ales and Lagers from San Francisco. I spoke to Jason Armstrong about opening new markets and finding the right consumer. He works for the 18th largest brewery in the nation and the 11th largest craft brew, Stone Brewing from San Diego where they are challenged by Karl Strauss Brewing. Stone hit 149,000 barrels last year with nine (9) beers with 5-6 special releases and collaborations. Like last year they collaborated with Alchemist Brewery in Vermont and Ninkasi in Oregon to create a beer with profits going toward the flood relief in Vermont where Alchemist’s facility was severely damaged. He says Stone is currently in 14 to16 markets and expanding. The biggest outside of SoCal are Texas, Colorado and Ohio. It seemed like no matter where a brewery was located, it was in the middle of expansion. Garrett Marrero from Maui Brewing Co said he came out for the conference and had to rush back to the island to continue on their expansion. Expanding is necessary and a risk. The equipment is expensive and betting on the future of each brewery’s flagship beer plus new releases is challenging. The majority of micro brews are sold on-premise (bar, restaurant, tavern) via kegs and then the next steps are decisions about bottling or canning, size, label design, transportation, sales reps, tasting room, and so on. There was a guy wearing a shirt that said “Good Head Beer” and he was looking for distributors to discuss importing that popular beer from Australia. To put this in perspective, over 90% of beer sold in America is either Budweiser (owned by Euro-based AB-InBev) or MillerCoors (SAB Miller combined forces with Molson Coors Brewing Co). According to Beer Marketer’s Insights, the two leading domestic brands for each company put up huge numbers. Coors Light sales were 18.3 million barrels in 2011, while Budweiser sales were 17.7 million barrels (data includes Puerto Rico and exports). The overall domestic beer sales in 2011 were about $96 billion selling 199,937,239 barrels of beer. The craft brewing sales share in 2011 was 5.7% by volume and 9.1% by dollars selling an estimated 11,468,152 barrels of beer in 2011. For comprehensive information, check out: http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/business-tools/craft-brewing-statistics/facts The Brewers Association that put on the CBC defines an American craft brewer as: