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Author Topic: The Decline of Homebrewing  (Read 17892 times)

Offline kramerog

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2016, 01:06:09 pm »
This article is about the decline of local homebrewing shops.  Folks want fresh ingredients, lots of choices, cheap prices, and lots of customer support.  These factors make it difficult for there to be lots of local homebrew stores.

Whether homebrewing follows is unclear to me.

Offline pete b

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2016, 01:09:19 pm »
Agreed with things being cyclical. And there are so many new breweries, brewpubs, and beer bars that provide craft beer (albeit a lot of it mediocre or worse) that I'm sure many don't feel the need to brew. I'd hate to see homebrewing decline to the point that access to the ingredients I want is a challenge like when I started (don't see that happening), but past that it's been a trendy hobby in recent years and it's not for everybody. The people who stick with it have real passion for the process, and see the cleaning, scrubbing and too cold/too hot brew days as a labor of love, not a reason to sell their equipment and run to the nearest brewpub. And I'm also proud to say I'm social media free. Each his own.
I'm also social media free. The only hashtag I know is a tag I put on my hash that says "Pete's Hash".
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2016, 01:12:00 pm »
I'm also social media free. The only hashtag I know is a tag I put on my hash that says "Pete's Hash".


Yeah, and I make pretty good corned beef hash.   :)
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Offline JohnnyC

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2016, 02:11:55 pm »
i think it's interesting that they use the decline of "how to homebrew" as a Google search term to show a decline in home brewing. That may have declined, but did other terms increase, like:

"best mash temp for..."
"best fermentation temp for...."
"ideal water profile for...."

IMO a decline in a generic search for a hobby doesn't show the true picture. As more people learned about the hobby, the "Googling" grew more sophisticated and probably increased as much as the first declined.

Offline denny

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2016, 02:40:49 pm »
This article is about the decline of local homebrewing shops.  Folks want fresh ingredients, lots of choices, cheap prices, and lots of customer support.  These factors make it difficult for there to be lots of local homebrew stores.

Whether homebrewing follows is unclear to me.

Yes, it is following.
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Offline denny

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2016, 02:42:02 pm »
i think it's interesting that they use the decline of "how to homebrew" as a Google search term to show a decline in home brewing. That may have declined, but did other terms increase, like:

"best mash temp for..."
"best fermentation temp for...."
"ideal water profile for...."

IMO a decline in a generic search for a hobby doesn't show the true picture. As more people learned about the hobby, the "Googling" grew more sophisticated and probably increased as much as the first declined.

Even if the data for the article is questionable, the AHA collects a lot of data both from stores and homebrewers.  Those data confirm what the article says.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2016, 02:47:32 pm »
i think it's interesting that they use the decline of "how to homebrew" as a Google search term to show a decline in home brewing. That may have declined, but did other terms increase, like:

"best mash temp for..."
"best fermentation temp for...."
"ideal water profile for...."

IMO a decline in a generic search for a hobby doesn't show the true picture. As more people learned about the hobby, the "Googling" grew more sophisticated and probably increased as much as the first declined.

Even if the data for the article is questionable, the AHA collects a lot of data both from stores and homebrewers.  Those data confirm what the article says.

Those of us who lived through the 90s boom and the brew-on-premises places have seen these cycles before.  I haven't seen the data, but I doubt it's any reason to fret.

Even if there's a contraction in brick and mortar stores, the on-line shops will remain (I think my original order from William's was placed using a catalogue).  The quality and availability of ingredients will not likely be impeded and is far better than it has ever been.

I brew less often than I used to, but life gets in the way.  That doesn't mean I'm quitting.
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Offline Stevie

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The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2016, 02:48:30 pm »
That shop is likely a good example of a bad shop. I've seen many shops pop up in the last few years as side businesses in existing retail locations. All they do is stock a bunch of LD Carlson or Brewcraft prepacked goods. Knowledge and service are doubly as important to good stock.

I once saw a shop in a neighborhood with crap parking that lasted less than a year. People don't want to carry all arms full of heavy stuff blocks down the road.

I'm sure many will close due to a correction, but many are also closing because of bad choices and lack of ability.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2016, 02:50:23 pm »
The article has input from Gary Glass, so they did some research. As Denny said, this has been a topic, covered at length in the GC meeting.

The AHA growth has slowed, but was still slightly positive or flat last I heard.

The revenue at retailers is down. Less high margin extracts are sold as BIAB becomes more popular. Less fancy equipment sold for the same reason. Less beer is brewed due to demands on time (work, family, and so on). Every town having a brewery (it seems that way) cuts into the need to brew fresh beer.

There are many new devices coming out, the pico brew and grain father systems, that automate brewing. Those may bring more people into the hobby, as the automation has an allure for some.

Things change. Double digit growth doen't last forever. I think the hobby will be fine in the long run.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2016, 02:56:58 pm »
For me, I brew because I like beer and I like the process. Here in the greater Cincinnati tri-state area, I have access to dozens of good to great local breweries, yet I still brew my own. I don't plan on stopping unless we actually move into a tiny house (she really wants to). Brewing is my time and I can only hope that great LHBS' s continue to help fuel my only real hobby and only me time I have
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Offline Rhoobarb

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2016, 03:05:12 pm »
Wait a few years.  I'm part of that tail end of baby-boomers, born in 1958-1960. When I retire in a few more years, I'll have a lot more time for brewing and, if I'm lucky, still have a enough years and money to do it. I know I can't be the only one. As an anecdotal side note, our club has seen a real uptick in the number of younger (under 35) members just this year. Less grey hair at meetings than there used to be, which we like!

« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 03:08:51 pm by Rhoobarb »
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2016, 03:07:54 pm »
Less beer is brewed due to demands on time (work, family, and so on). Every town having a brewery (it seems that way) cuts into the need to brew fresh beer.

The first part describes me, but as to the second part the same demands on my time keep me home and not going out to the breweries, tap rooms, and awesome beer pubs in Chicago.  Brewing is something I can do at home.  The kids can help out (they don't much any more).  We share the beer with friends when we are entertaining. 

If I was younger, and unattached, the lure of going out might impinge on my brewing.

I agree that the hobby will be fine in the long run. 
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2016, 03:22:47 pm »
Everything goes in cycles.  This reminds me of the big golf boom in the 90s.  They couldn't build courses fast enough.  Now, courses are closing because there aren't enough players.

That happened to bowling back in the 70s. There was a 252 lane bowling center in Japan which shut down not too many years later.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2016, 03:25:54 pm »
I brew less often than I used to, but life gets in the way.  That doesn't mean I'm quitting.

You are just becoming a "casual homebrewer" according to the article, so you fit right in with the younger generation, Joe! 

Also, we need to consider the number of guys who have gone to smaller batches so they can brew more varieties without stockpiling such large volumes of beer.  I'm not sure how that would be reflected in the data, but perhaps the overall ingredients likely fall as a result?  The point is the amount of spending on the hobby can change without the passion for homebrewing waning among those who are doing it.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2016, 03:31:34 pm »
Also, we need to consider the number of guys who have gone to smaller batches so they can brew more varieties without stockpiling such large volumes of beer.  I'm not sure how that would be reflected in the data, but perhaps the overall ingredients likely fall as a result?  The point is the amount of spending on the hobby can change without the passion for homebrewing waning among those who are doing it.

Excellent point.  I don't wanna make 5 gallons anymore.  I like my 1.7 gallons just fine.  Or okay, maybe 2 gallons sometimes.    :D

Part of this is due to me wanting more variety in my cellar.  The other part of it is I don't have as many friends anymore.   :'(   But that should actually change again later in life once we get the kids out of the house, retirement, etc.  :)
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