Craft Beer Industry

TradeRiver has identified the Craft Beer industry among a number of high growth industries where innovation and disruption are either happening or in desperate need of occurrence. Here’s a quick dive into all of the things we’ve highlighted about the Craft Beer industry.


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Identity Crisis

Why is it that when asked to define what craft beer is, consumers don't know how? Craft beer is one of the most widely misunderstood and misused terms in the entire beer industry. The fact is producers and consumers have different takes on craft beer. Unlike other countries, the UK has never had clarification regarding the definition of craft beer. Brewers associate the term with traditional brewing methodologies and are motivated by the lack of tolerance of standardised flavours. Consumers tend to measure the size, scale, and independence of breweries as contributing factors to what defines a craft brewery. 

Bang For Buck

Today, consumers seek out brands that have sustainability and responsibility
credentials. Craft beer is getting creative as it strategizes to harness the health-conscious consumer. Breweries such as the Kernal Brewery, Cloudwater Brew Co., and Hillside Brewery are remodeling to adapt to consumers increasing demand for lower strength beer by producing new brews.

Cans are In

Packaged craft beer has seen a shift in recent years and is increasingly being served in cans. Cans themselves have also shifted from 330mL to 440 mL, which is the most popularly packaged can. Increasing numbers of producers are switching over to can packaging. Distributors such as Brick Brewery and Siren Craft Brew are creating exciting opportunities for artists, designers, and illustrators disrupting the craft beer movement.

Healthy Lifestyle

While health and wellness trends continue to gain traction worldwide, players in the craft beer industry are beginning to diversify their offerings to meet consumer demands. Innovative beer distributors such as Becks Blue, Nirvana, and Big Drop are entering into the low/non-alcoholic beer market that is relatively unsaturated. There is plenty of room for innovation in this marketplace currently, but it is predicted to grow quickly.

Non Alcoholic

Breweries are coming up with new innovative and creative ways to produce beer that keeps all the flavours of beer but removes all of the alcohol. There are now dozens of options to choose from for consumers who generally are non-drinkers. Ringwood Brewery, Lindemans Cassis, and Gadds' have created beers that are good for any time of the day. By hyper-focusing on the beer's flavour, these breweries have been able to prove the versatility of their offerings.

381% Increase

As of 2019, nearly 3% of craft beer purchases have been made in beers with 2.8% or fewer alcohol ratings. It appears that low/non-alcohol beer is a sure thing that is here to stay. Whilst this trend came on quickly, breweries like VandeSTREEK, Lucky Saint, and Thornbridge have been developing new techniques to produce a range of low-alcohol products. These innovative endeavours are paying off as more consumers are hopping on the healthy bandwagon.

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