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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: majorvices on August 07, 2012, 03:21:28 PM

Title: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: majorvices on August 07, 2012, 03:21:28 PM
Pretty cool graph. Obviously this explosion can't continue, there are only so many taps!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/us-craft-beer-breweries-growing_n_1748520.html
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: euge on August 07, 2012, 03:53:26 PM
Not to mention that our population has quintupled since 1890? So we still aren't putting it away like our forefathers.

But it is heartening. I like most of the breweries on the slideshow except Magic Hat. Can't stand their weirdly flavored beer. Regardless, I wish everyone continued success and increasing profits
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: Titanium Brewing on August 07, 2012, 09:37:42 PM
http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/media/press-releases/show?title=brewers-association-reports-2012-mid-year-growth-for-u-s-craft-brewers (http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/media/press-releases/show?title=brewers-association-reports-2012-mid-year-growth-for-u-s-craft-brewers)
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: nateo on August 07, 2012, 10:28:42 PM
People drank way too much in the 19th century. Prohibition was rooted in some serious concerns for society. Average consumption was equivalent to 1.7 bottles of hard liquor a week, about three times as much as we drink today.

I agree about Magic Hat being supremely disappointing. Their "Not quite pale ale" was so fantastically disappointing. It was like a bad imitation of Pyramid's apricot ale. I believe any beer with fruit extract added to it should clearly state so on the bottle.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: brewmichigan on August 08, 2012, 01:03:13 PM
The population of the US was about 63 million in 1890. Since there were 2,011 breweries in 1890, that meant there was 1 brewery for every 31,000 people. With todays population being 312 million, each brewery is supporting about 146,000 people. I suppose most of that is supplied by the big 3 though. We still have room to grow even if we don't party like its 1899.  :D

Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: Delo on August 08, 2012, 02:29:16 PM
I agree about Magic Hat being supremely disappointing. Their "Not quite pale ale" was so fantastically disappointing. It was like a bad imitation of Pyramid's apricot ale. I believe any beer with fruit extract added to it should clearly state so on the bottle.

I used to be a fan of Magic Hat a long time ago, but it seems like their quality has gone down. I know they were bought not that long ago, but IMO the quality wasn't that good before they were bought.   Didn't they buy Pyramid or are owned by the same owner? They did brew a colaboration beer, a Gose, for the Vermont Beer fest with Trapps lodge that was really good.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 08, 2012, 02:47:03 PM
I have to say I'm surprised to see Magic Hat so far up on the list.

I like their beer a couple years ago when I first came across it.  Maybe just because it was different, I don't know.  The last six-pack I had was pretty rough, though.  There's a bottle or two left somewhere in the basement.

Bell's, on the other hand, does not last in my house.  Maybe my favorite brewery.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: morticaixavier on August 08, 2012, 02:49:52 PM
I agree about Magic Hat being supremely disappointing. Their "Not quite pale ale" was so fantastically disappointing. It was like a bad imitation of Pyramid's apricot ale. I believe any beer with fruit extract added to it should clearly state so on the bottle.

I used to be a fan of Magic Hat a long time ago, but it seems like their quality has gone down. I know they were bought not that long ago, but IMO the quality wasn't that good before they were bought.   Didn't they buy Pyramid or are owned by the same owner? They did brew a colaboration beer, a Gose, for the Vermont Beer fest with Trapps lodge that was really good.

I would have liked to taste that. Trapp Family Lodge is doing some really nice traditional german beers with local ingredients. amazing place to sit on the deck and drink a beer to, overlooking the mad river valley.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: majorvices on August 08, 2012, 03:12:43 PM


Bell's, on the other hand, does not last in my house.  Maybe my favorite brewery.

Just got a six pack of Bell's Two Hearted the other day and while it is not horrible I don't really enjoy it. I haven't enjoyed a Two Hearted in a while. Seems like the quality has slipped there. Either that or they are expanding too far out from their local and the freshness is biting them in the ass.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 08, 2012, 04:01:05 PM


Bell's, on the other hand, does not last in my house.  Maybe my favorite brewery.

Just got a six pack of Bell's Two Hearted the other day and while it is not horrible I don't really enjoy it. I haven't enjoyed a Two Hearted in a while. Seems like the quality has slipped there. Either that or they are expanding too far out from their local and the freshness is biting them in the ass.

I tend to go for their Third Coast Old Ale, Expedition Stout, and pretty much any stout they make.  Hoppy beers are not my thing.  It may be that expansion is straining them, however.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: Delo on August 08, 2012, 04:16:21 PM
I would have liked to taste that. Trapp Family Lodge is doing some really nice traditional german beers with local ingredients. amazing place to sit on the deck and drink a beer to, overlooking the mad river valley.
I remember going there as a kid to go skiiing and it really was amazing.  Last year at the brewers fest they had a "Session Rauchbier" that I thought was really good. They werent going to bring it, but changed their minds and I'm glad they did.  Would love to go there now. 
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 08, 2012, 06:12:31 PM
Pretty cool graph. Obviously this explosion can't continue, there are only so many taps!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/us-craft-beer-breweries-growing_n_1748520.html

Either they will run out of places to put sell the product, or run out of raw materials.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: brewmichigan on August 08, 2012, 06:30:10 PM


Bell's, on the other hand, does not last in my house.  Maybe my favorite brewery.

Just got a six pack of Bell's Two Hearted the other day and while it is not horrible I don't really enjoy it. I haven't enjoyed a Two Hearted in a while. Seems like the quality has slipped there. Either that or they are expanding too far out from their local and the freshness is biting them in the ass.

I've noticed that if I grab a sixer that was bottled more than a couple months ago, it's not as good as it should be. On tap at the eccentric cafe, it's awesome. Check the bottle date and see how old it is.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: Jimmy K on August 08, 2012, 07:02:00 PM
Pretty cool graph. Obviously this explosion can't continue, there are only so many taps!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/us-craft-beer-breweries-growing_n_1748520.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/us-craft-beer-breweries-growing_n_1748520.html)

I don't know, there are a LOT of BMC taps out there.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: narvin on August 08, 2012, 10:57:01 PM
It was like a bad imitation of Pyramid's apricot ale.

So.... It was good?  :D
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: aviking427 on August 08, 2012, 11:16:48 PM
Pretty cool graph. Obviously this explosion can't continue, there are only so many taps!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/us-craft-beer-breweries-growing_n_1748520.html

They said the same thing about the wine industry and its still growing. If they could fix the distribution network/3 tier system, we would see a lot more market share going to real beer vs the questionably flavored water BMC makes. I say that with a forked tongue though, slower growth for the craft industry is probably the best thing. It ensures quality over quantity which is how craft beer got where it is today.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: nateo on August 08, 2012, 11:42:01 PM
Craft beer requires a specific economic ecology to thrive. In CO a combination of self-distribution laws and huge numbers of independent liquor stores allowed craft beer to blow up. A large part of that was because most grocery stores aren't allowed to sell any beer over 3.2% beer, and no liquor or wine. In Missouri, any kind of retail establishment can sell any beer or liquor of any strength. There are hardly any independent liquor stores, and there are only a handful of breweries here.

So it's not just the 3 tier system that's keeping craft beer down. This is a good example of the difference between "pro-business" and "pro-market" regulation. What's good for a specific business (3-tier for BMC and limited liquor sales for breweries in CO) may be bad for consumers (fewer choices, less variety in MO, fewer places to buy liquor in CO). Craft beer has thrived in CO because of strict liquor retail regulations, and craft beer is anemic in MO because of overly lax retail regulations. 
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: euge on August 09, 2012, 12:34:06 AM
Nateo when you state "retail establishments" do you mean restaurants and bars?

What's good for a specific business (3-tier for BMC and limited liquor sales for breweries in CO) may be bad for consumers (fewer choices, less variety in MO, fewer places to buy liquor in CO). Craft beer has thrived in CO because of strict liquor retail regulations, and craft beer is anemic in MO because of overly lax retail regulations. 

I'm sure the Anheuser-Busch Co. were allowed to pen in the legislation themselves and passed without protest...
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: aviking427 on August 09, 2012, 12:43:01 AM
I agree with you, but I do think fixing the 3 tier system would probably have the largest effect on Craft Beer as a whole. Its pretty corrupt frankly. (state law will always be a separate battle) the BMC's, as much as they aren't supposed to, give incentives for tap and shelf space simply because they can. They have the capital to throw around to distributors, just look at AB's exclusive distribution network. Then the distributors take those incentives and bring it to the restaurants and stores to sell more so they get more incentives. "Hey, here are some awesome box tickets to the Yankee's vs Redsox, how about that extra tap space?" "We accidentally gave you 2 extra kegs, no worries and oh, here is an extra jockey box we had laying around, bet you could use that for the patio bar. Thanks for being such a good customer, oh, btw, Assenheimerbusch is coming out with a new lower calorie beer thats lighter than air, how about you help us push it and do a few promo nights." In the 14 years of bar tending I did, there wasn't a place I worked where that didn't happen on a regular basis.  This is a federal issue which effects each state. State law, well, thats just another part of the game and we are starting to see state legislation loosen up a bit.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: bluesman on August 09, 2012, 01:03:45 AM
This is encouraging news.  I'm glad to see the current trend.  We should enjoy it while it lasts.  Keith, I hope you can reap the rewards of this upward swing.

As we all know, "what goes up must eventually come down"...I just hope this trend continues for some time.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: nateo on August 09, 2012, 02:12:11 AM
Euge - I meant anywhere in MO with a retail license can very easily get a license to sell liquor as well. Usually it's just convenience stores that bother with them, but there's no reason I couldn't get a liquor license for my tackle store. In fact I've thought about doing that, and tackle stores in other areas do just that. What that means is that every convenience and grocery store in the state sells beer, wine, and liquor of all strengths.

In CO independent liquor stores collectively have a monopoly on liquor and wine, and all beer over 3.2%ABW. Every few years someone tries to repeal that law. I've seen estimates that if grocery and convenience stores can sell full-strength beer and wine it would put about half the independent stores out of business basically immediately, and probably put another 1/4 out of business over the next few years.

The problem with Kroger or Target selling booze is that while it'd be really convenient and cheaper for customers, it'd be really bad news for microbreweries. If you're a brewery, and sell to Kroger in CO, you have to sell to all the Krogers in the district. It'd force moderately large microbreweries to use all their production capacity on their best selling beer, and the lack of independent liquor stores would put a lot of the smaller breweries out of business.

So you could look at CO's laws as either protecting an effective monopoly by small-businesses, or protecting independent stores from competition with national chains. I'm pro-small-business and pro-craft beer, so it never really bothered me. But I can see how a lot of people would have problems with that kind of anti-free-market protectionism. If you like BMC, you'd probably feel the same way about the anti-free-market protectionism that they're afforded.

But yeah, there's a lot of cronyism in politics in both states. Gov./former mayor of Denver Hickenlooper was an owner of Wynkoop Brewing Co, one of the oldest microbreweries in CO. In MO, and St. Louis specifically, A-B is a really big deal. I voted for Hickenlooper, so I guess cronyism doesn't bother me when it's cronyism to support things I like.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: euge on August 09, 2012, 02:17:12 AM
Wow. If I read that correctly you basically have to have the production to supply all the various retailers or not be able to operate at all. AB as the #1 producer feels no fear from that aspect...
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: nateo on August 09, 2012, 02:21:36 AM
Wow. If I read that correctly you basically have to have the production to supply all the various retailers or not be able to operate at all. AB as the #1 producer feels no fear from that aspect...

Yeah, that's about it. In CO you can own a microbrewery and sell a single six pack to Ted's Liquor Store. In MO you have to sell to a third-party distributor (depending on how you set up your licenses, that either can or cannot be owned by yourself), and that distributor sells to Brown Derby (liquor chain) or Walmart, which wants enough product to stock all of their stores in the region.

There are a few independent liquor stores around, but I don't shop there because they only stock BMC. Walmart has one of the best selections around here, which is really sad.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: passlaku on August 09, 2012, 02:36:00 AM
The population of the US was about 63 million in 1890. Since there were 2,011 breweries in 1890, that meant there was 1 brewery for every 31,000 people. With todays population being 312 million, each brewery is supporting about 146,000 people. I suppose most of that is supplied by the big 3 though. We still have room to grow even if we don't party like its 1899.  :D

Thanks for providing some context to these numbers.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: repo on August 09, 2012, 04:14:45 AM
The population of the US was about 63 million in 1890. Since there were 2,011 breweries in 1890, that meant there was 1 brewery for every 31,000 people. With todays population being 312 million, each brewery is supporting about 146,000 people. I suppose most of that is supplied by the big 3 though. We still have room to grow even if we don't party like its 1899.  :D

Thanks for providing some context to these numbers.

Ah but the real question is how many beers per person were produced. I'd bet AB alone produces more per person than the entire country did back then. Two completely different worlds we're talking about.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: nateo on August 09, 2012, 11:59:32 AM
Ah but the real question is how many beers per person were produced. I'd bet AB alone produces more per person than the entire country did back then. Two completely different worlds we're talking about.

Not quite, but you're close. Total US production in 1890 was 27.9m bbl, 13.6 gallons per capita. A-B production alone in 2000 was 99.2m bbl, which was 10.85 gallons per capita.

http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/stack.brewing.industry.history.us
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: FirstStateBrewer on August 09, 2012, 02:23:25 PM
This is encouraging news.  I'm glad to see the current trend.  We should enjoy it while it lasts.  Keith, I hope you can reap the rewards of this upward swing.

As we all know, "what goes up must eventually come down"...I just hope this trend continues for some time.
So if you're like me, you're hoping the trend continues long enough for you to get in on the action!   ;)
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: morticaixavier on August 09, 2012, 02:49:51 PM
What I find interesting about that graph is that prohibition did nothing to the level of drinking in america. the gap represented by prohibition could be replaced with a simple continuation of the line and nothing would change. the numbers were trending down already.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 09, 2012, 03:12:56 PM
What I find interesting about that graph is that prohibition did nothing to the level of drinking in america. the gap represented by prohibition could be replaced with a simple continuation of the line and nothing would change. the numbers were trending down already.

Except that the graph is number of breweries, not alcohol consumed.

What prohibition likely did was hasten the consolidation of the industry into fewer larger breweries, though of course that's not supported by the graph, as you point out. Pure speculation on my part.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: morticaixavier on August 09, 2012, 03:14:56 PM
What I find interesting about that graph is that prohibition did nothing to the level of drinking in america. the gap represented by prohibition could be replaced with a simple continuation of the line and nothing would change. the numbers were trending down already.

Except that the graph is number of breweries, not alcohol consumed.

What prohibition likely did was hasten the consolidation of the industry into fewer larger breweries, though of course that's not supported by the graph, as you point out. Pure speculation on my part.

True. Your statement is more acurate, so prohibition, contrary to what might seem logical did NOT hasten the consolidation of breweries. At least according to that graph.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 09, 2012, 03:22:24 PM
One of the things I recall reading, though I don't have a reference for it, was that one of the Milwaukee breweries began shipping beer in cooled/chilled box cars and that this helped them to dominate as they could deliver a superior product.

I wish I could recall the book.  I don't think it was this one: http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Beer-Brewing-Chicago/dp/1880654164 but it could be, as that's certainly on my shelf at home.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: nateo on August 09, 2012, 03:28:21 PM
No other goods or services have been prohibited in the past, and consolidation has been widespread anyway. I don't think prohibition had anything to do with it.

Between 1930 and 1980, draft sales decreased linearly from 70% to 12%. If everyone started buying beer in cans or bottles, companies with the most capital would be best positioned to dominate the market, through better margins, better QC, bigger distribution networks, and more volume. Selling beer in-house, on draft, is more profitable for small breweries, but selling beer in cans in huge volume is more profitable for big breweries.

I blame refrigerators for destroying the craft beer industry in the first place.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: jeffy on August 09, 2012, 05:14:22 PM
One of the things I recall reading, though I don't have a reference for it, was that one of the Milwaukee breweries began shipping beer in cooled/chilled box cars and that this helped them to dominate as they could deliver a superior product.

I wish I could recall the book.  I don't think it was this one: http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Beer-Brewing-Chicago/dp/1880654164 but it could be, as that's certainly on my shelf at home.

Ambitious Brew by Maureen Ogle
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: Jimmy K on August 10, 2012, 05:02:18 PM
One of the things I recall reading, though I don't have a reference for it, was that one of the Milwaukee breweries began shipping beer in cooled/chilled box cars and that this helped them to dominate as they could deliver a superior product.

I wish I could recall the book.  I don't think it was this one: http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Beer-Brewing-Chicago/dp/1880654164 (http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Beer-Brewing-Chicago/dp/1880654164) but it could be, as that's certainly on my shelf at home.

Ambitious Brew by Maureen Ogle

That's it- interesting book.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: Jimmy K on August 10, 2012, 05:07:50 PM
My take from Ambitious Brew was that prohibition made it possible to put in a lot of new restrictions on alcohol, since most players would accept anything to get it repealed. The 3-tier system, taxes, etc then went on to encourage consolidation after prohibition ended because the largest players could deal with the restrictions more efficiently.
 
Good point though, that all markets had undergone similar consolidation. And brewery consolidation has taken place in European countries as well.
Title: Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
Post by: Delo on August 10, 2012, 06:55:38 PM
Also breweries were consolidating before prohibition as breweries failed due to the public's change in taste for beer.    Prohibition eliminated (or severely damaged) the breweries that could not survive off investments or ones that could not sell other products like near beer, yeast, malt extracts, soda, etc.  Bigger breweries had a better chance to adapt to survive, and the ones that did had a huge advantage when prohibition ended.

Before prohibition, most breweries distributed their beer locally or through saloons. Saloons became one of the main targets of prohibition. Anheuser-Busch was the company that specially designed refrigerated box cars to transport their beer all over the country.    The big brewers were able to take advantage of improved packaging(better bottles and canned beer) and refrigerated box cars to dominate the beer industry. You can really blame prohibition and refrigeration/improved packaging equally for destroying the number of small breweries.

Ambitious Brew was a pretty good book, but a little too pro big-brewers.