UK start the journey from US Craft Beer market shares
Bob Pease, chief executive of the Brewers Association, which represents craft breweries in the States, said that last year was one of the toughest in decades for some members.
“The second half of 2016 was when our members started seeing significant changes in the market place. There is still significant growth but it is not across the board for everybody. A number of our leading craft brewers had a difficult time for the first time in 20 years,” Pease told Inapub.
The strain is being felt by larger craft operators who face pressures from both the growing number of smaller independents and major multi-nationals snapping up craft breweries.
He added: “Our breweries at the long end of the tail are seeing a lot of growth but there is a lot of pressure at the top.”
However, this comes against a backdrop of overall growth in America, where there are 5,200 craft breweries in operation. Next week the Brewers Association is set to release figures which will show how the craft beer sector has grown in value and volume terms.
Pease added: “They are still making the beers that they were making before but they are competing on a price point that is difficult for the independent breweries to match.”
He also said that if he were a trade leader in the UK he would “be concerned” about Heineken’s proposed takeover of pub group Punch.
“In the United States there are laws that prevent the tied house that you have over here. If you walk into a pub and it looks like there are bunch of beers from independent breweries and they are all controlled by one brewery, we don’t think that’s a good thing.”
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