Craft Beers vs. Macro Beers is now a full-blown business conflict. This is a conflict that was probably inevitable in the United States. Nevertheless, it is a reality at the time this article is being composed. Myself, the writer of said article, will be correctly perceived as a person who favors craft beers over macro beers. I will not deny my bias favoring craft beers. However, I enjoy drinking macro beers as well. Much of my craft beer bias is a result of the public attack on craft beers from macro beer distributors. My ‘beat’ in my locality, is ‘Lafayette’s beer bars/Lafayette nightlife.’ This means, if a bar features mostly macro beers in its tap/bottle options, I can’t ignore that bar. I the articles I have produced back up that fact. I have been to bars where the macro beers far outnumber the craft beers. My task is to cover Lafayette’s beer bars. I have to be indiscriminate in which businesses of that kind I cover and feature. With that said, new data has come into the public eye to be addressed.
Data shared in a recent article by Business Insider suggest that America’s Craft Beer boom is in full swing. The article uses data collected by sources like the Wall Street Journal. The trend is leaning toward craft beers taking a significant amount of business away from the Macro Beer side of the industry. This quote from Business Insider seems to cement that fact: “Budweiser is the third-most-popular beer brand in America, behind Bud Light and Coors Light. It has recently also been challenged by craft beer, which is hugely popular with the millennial set. At the brand’s peak in 1988, it was selling 50 million barrels of beer a year. That number has declined to 16 million barrels.”
I must admit, after seeing Budweiser’s television craft beer attack ad, I initially reacted emotionally. However, statistics like the data mentioned above only further point to big beer brands feeling the pinch. That advertisement only bleeds out more and more desperation by the minute.
Subtle red flags have been evident in Lafayette for over 20 years. Lafayette Brewing Company has featured an upstairs stage for bands and other acts to perform. People’s Brewing Company routinely throws weekend parties, as well as hosting their own slew of concerts from local bands. These features make local craft breweries popular gathering places.
What could seem like a trend-stopper, in this case, is also evidence of the initial craft beer boom. A coworker mentioned to me that he has the impression that every other average joe on the street has a home-brewing kit, and dreams of opening a craft brewery. He views this as an over-saturation of the craft beer craze. While it’s true that a very small percentage of these pipe-dreamers will be successful, a trend doesn’t get over-saturated unless it is a very powerful trend.
What does the future hold? I believe that, yes, the craft beer trend will slow, but not much. Budweiser and it’s macro cohorts may gain a little bit of their empire back, but not close to what they all had in peak times. Craft beer is here in America to stay. Macro beer brands will have to adapt if they want to regain any of their long-past glory.