Author Topic: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries  (Read 6058 times)

Offline In The Sand

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Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« on: December 28, 2012, 11:21:45 AM »
I'm new to homebrewing.  I've done about 8 five-gallon batches since June of this year.  My first was an extract recipe and then I went straight into all-grain.  I joined AHA back around September I think.  I've always enjoyed drinking craft beer over macrobrews and finally got tired of the limited selection of craft brews in the Florida Panhandle.  Since I've started brewing my own, I've noticed a gradual increase in the selection here, and particularly at places you wouldn't expect to see them (e.g. gas stations). 

I know it's not attributable to me, and maybe I'm now just more aware, but I'm curious to know what others have seen growth-wise in the microbrewery industry.  In particular (AHA moderators weigh in please) has there been a noticeable increase in AHA membership over the past few months or years?

I've also noticed the homebrew supply companies seem to be selling out of a lot of items or have started having longer shipping times.  Again, this is my first year so it may be related to the holiday season.  What do you all think?
Trey W.

Offline denny

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Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2012, 11:34:02 AM »
I don't have the exact numbers at hand, but there has been huge growth in the AHA the last few years.  More than tripled in size, IIRC.
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Offline snowtiger87

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Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2012, 12:31:29 PM »
It has all exploded. Attendance at the NHC, GABF, and just about all other local beer festivals I attend has gone through the roof. I am really glad I don't have to search 20 stores for a craft beer anymore but I lament those quaint little festivals with no lines for beer and lots of elbow room.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 02:56:53 PM »
The AHA has been on a growth curve for some years now. I don't have the exact figures, but it is around 30k+.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/government-affairs/talking-points

The NHC has reflected the growth. You can see the numbers at the conference in the next link. 2012 is to be around 2500, 2014 is 3500. Hotel and conference centers are sometimes the limit on the number.


http://www.ahaconference.org/conference-information/past-conferences/
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2012, 04:10:40 PM »
Despite rumblings of distributors and BMC trying to block craft beer from taking a market share, I see craft beer more and more often, in more places, and in greater selections, than ever before.

In addition, homebrewers are getting to be more common, even homebrew stores are too.  The one near me that just opened is doing just fine (I know, anecdata, n=1, S=0, but c'mon man, work with me here, I'm on board!). :D

Offline In The Sand

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Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 04:55:41 PM »
So apparently I'm not just more aware. There has been significant industry growth. Thanks for the comments all.
Trey W.

Offline majorvices

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Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 09:59:06 AM »
It's pretty amazing how many homebrewers on this forum have opened a brewery or turned pro since the forum opened. I was in the process of opening my brewery when this forum went live and I can think of at least 4 people on this forum who have opened (or in the process of opening) a brewery and a few others who are brewing professionally.

Likewise, here in north Alabama, when I planned to open this brewery there was one local brewery (making pretty bad beer) and by the time I opened two other breweries beat me to open and several more across the state have opened since. The former, making bad beer, closed it's doors a year after I opened.

There is a very real possibility of a bust happening in the next year or two. While we don't have any signs of slowing as of yet tap space is starting to get really crowded and while the demand for my beer is still high other much larger craft breweries like Bells and Sweet Water are taking over taps with much lower priced products. The bigger you grow, the scarier it gets!
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Offline duboman

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Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 10:12:15 AM »
I know in the Chicago area we have seen a major increase in the number of craft brewers opening shop and distributing their wares with a lot more set to open this coming year!

The biggest issue we are currently seeing is the demand for more shelf space and the distributors are having a problem trying to find a place for all the new beers on the market! Those that don't bottle are competing as well with the available taps in the bars.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2012, 10:32:10 AM »
There is a very real possibility of a bust happening in the next year or two. While we don't have any signs of slowing as of yet tap space is starting to get really crowded and while the demand for my beer is still high other much larger craft breweries like Bells and Sweet Water are taking over taps with much lower priced products. The bigger you grow, the scarier it gets!

It is looking like the 90s again, everyone who has brewed a couple batches of beer wants to open a brewery. The quick buck people are getting into it. At the same time, all of the established breweries here in Michigan are expanding. Bells has their 200 bbl system on line, and has 250k barrels as the target this year, and the capacity (with more tanks added) is said to be in the 800k range.

If the sales slow down, and the big breweries are set to increase, that will be trouble for the ones that have quality or financial issues. Just like the 90s.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 11:03:59 AM »
I miss being able to go to the local scrap yard and pick up Sankes and Cornies for 25 cents a pound, or
loading the back of a pickup with garbage cans and driving down to Minnesota Malting and filling up with 2 row for 10 cents a pound.

I welcome that beer is once again taking on more of a local flavor where each neighborhood/region will have it's beer/gathering places that offer local tastes and a window into the community. Where every Thursday at 4:00 you see Norm on that second stool from the corner....

I've always liked beer, but the English pub culture that I experienced in the 70's is what really made me fall in love with beer. The funky little nanos/micros opening up are kind of rekindling that experience.

Here's to beer and how it brings us all together!
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Online gsandel

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Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 12:30:09 PM »
Quote
I welcome that beer is once again taking on more of a local flavor where each neighborhood/region will have it's beer/gathering places that offer local tastes and a window into the community. Where every Thursday at 4:00 you see Norm on that second stool from the corner....

I've always liked beer, but the English pub culture that I experienced in the 70's is what really made me fall in love with beer. The funky little nanos/micros opening up are kind of rekindling that experience.


+1 to that.

I like to go to certain breweries when I have a taste for something specific, or my local one(s) when just want to hang out or see what's new.  Restaurants' and bars' (non brew pub/specialty beer bar) tap and cooler space  are still driven by demand of the general customer and distribution deals (one dark, one IPA, a few BMC types or  maybe a big craft (Sam Adams or SN or NB) and this is in Denver.  Often you will count the selections on the beer menu and they are a good 40-60% or more "Pilsners" or "Pales" and are weighted toward craft lagers as well.  Craft/local plus variety still has a ways to go.
For the most part, I don't expect to see Double Imperial anything at Buffalo Wild Wings, but I am still disappointed by selection at most (even local) establishements more often than not.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 06:49:14 PM »
There is a very real possibility of a bust happening in the next year or two. While we don't have any signs of slowing as of yet tap space is starting to get really crowded and while the demand for my beer is still high other much larger craft breweries like Bells and Sweet Water are taking over taps with much lower priced products. The bigger you grow, the scarier it gets!

It is looking like the 90s again, everyone who has brewed a couple batches of beer wants to open a brewery. The quick buck people are getting into it. At the same time, all of the established breweries here in Michigan are expanding. Bells has their 200 bbl system on line, and has 250k barrels as the target this year, and the capacity (with more tanks added) is said to be in the 800k range.

If the sales slow down, and the big breweries are set to increase, that will be trouble for the ones that have quality or financial issues. Just like the 90s.
I see the same thing happening here - I'm wondering when the slide will come.  I hope never, but that seems unlikely. :(
Tom Schmidlin

Offline a10t2

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Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 07:06:18 PM »
I see the same thing happening here - I'm wondering when the slide will come.  I hope never, but that seems unlikely. :(

I think a contraction is inevitable, but I'm not sure it will be as bad as the statistics make it seem. The number of new breweries opening in the past couple years is enormous, but it seems to me that relative to previous years, a lot of them are nanos. A lot of the dollar growth is coming from already-large breweries getting larger.

At least, for my own sake I hope so. ???
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Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2012, 09:34:35 PM »
I see the same thing happening here - I'm wondering when the slide will come.  I hope never, but that seems unlikely. :(

I think a contraction is inevitable, but I'm not sure it will be as bad as the statistics make it seem. The number of new breweries opening in the past couple years is enormous, but it seems to me that relative to previous years, a lot of them are nanos. A lot of the dollar growth is coming from already-large breweries getting larger.

At least, for my own sake I hope so. ???

If you have a niche in your area, and make quality beer, you will be OK. That fits your situation, no? Hope to visit in a few years.

The ones that will fold are the mid sized ones that have poor quality, or bad financial situations. A couple of those went under in MI last year. There will be more. Then again, more are opening than closing.

Jeff Rankert
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