This weeks release of the full 2013 numbers on craft beer by the Craft Brewers Association confirms something many of us already knew: this movement is accelerating. I’d go a step further and say the best is yet to come. Here is the info-graphic the CBA published this week:
Pretty incredible numbers – going from 4.4% volume share in 2009 to 7.8% in 2013. On a dollar basis, even more impressive with a 20% increase over 2012 to $14.3 billion, giving craft beer a 14.3% share of the $100 billion US beer market. The number of breweries grew at a slightly slower pace (15%), giving slightly more sales per brewery.
This is a booming market and with that there are multiple new entrants and there will be inevitably, winners and losers. That said, a growing market makes up for a lot of mistakes and there are a lot more winners right now than not. The key is matching investment to real potential in any particular INDIVIDUAL business. A growing market is good for everyone, but it does an individual aspiring brewery little good if they spend too much on their building, don’t brew great beer that people enjoy, don’t create a brand that resonates with consumers and market place, take too long to get up and running, hire the wrong time, don’t know what their numbers are or what the right things to measure are, run out of money, etc. I could continue, but there are a ton of ways to be unsuccessful in this space, no matter what the growth is.
That is why I got together with a number of industry thought leaders to create the Beer Industry Technology Symposium (BITS) being held in Napa, CA June 30 & July 1 in conjunction with the Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS)
Yes, technology is in the name and there will be a bunch of things at the 2 day event that revolve around technology, but that is NOT the main point. The main point is what I am talking about above. There are so many challenges with running any new business and craft beer is no different. With all the new players and the many existing players who are experience growth beyond their wildest expectations, these businesses need sound strategic thinking around what matters. Technology is not “What Matters”, but it is the great enabler that in 2014, done right, can create the conditions for a successful business venture. Thinking through the myriad of options and what exactly one is trying to do is critical before you even start your brewery. If you already have one, and skipped this part of the planning, it is never to early to get on it and address these issues.
What a terrific message and a boost to the craft brewing industry at the same time. I reached out to the Siemens team and they jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the first BITS. How cool! This is also true of the California Craft Brewers Association who joined us recently as a GOLD sponsor and are marketing the BITS event to their 200+ members in CA.
BITS will be announcing these and many other great contributors in the form of keynote speakers and panels who are lining up to be a part of what we hope will become a must attend event for everyone in the industry who wants to be smart about running their business. Please reach out to me directly if you’d like to get involved. Registration will open up in mid April.
The craft brewing industry is in its preteen days… there is much growth in front of us and a lot of learning and growing up. This is an opportunity for collaboration with fellow breweries and professionals and leading edge thinkers in technology on how to grow up and be successful in your beer business. The best is yet to come!