Look, sit down, we need to talk.
It’s been brought to my attention that many craft beer buyers are doing it wrong. Now I’m not saying that you’re doing it wrong, but you’re a craft beer buyer, and these statistics show that many of your peers are buying the wrong beer. I hate to think that you’d fall into the same trap and throw away your future like that! If all of your friends bought Blue Moon, would you too? I’d hope not, but the statistics don’t lie.
The Brewer’s Association recently shared craft beer purchasing data for drug, grocery and convenience stores. And I don’t like what I’m seeing, not one bit. Here’s the data:
Top 5 Craft Styles and Segment Share:
1. Seasonal 18.1
2. Pale Ale 15.3
3. India Pale Ale 10.4
4. Amber Ale 10
5. Amber Lager 8.5
Fastest Growing Craft Styles by Percentage:
1. Pilsner +47.3%
2. Scottish-Style Ale +40%
3. Belgian-Style Ale +37.2%
4. Belgian-Style Wit +34.6%
5. India Pale Ale +33.5
Fastest Declining Craft Styles by Percentage:
1. Light Beer -17.5%
2. Dark Beer -6.9%
3. ESB – 6.5%
4. Red Beer -5.8%
5. Brown Beer -3.6%
This explains why so many pale ales, IPA’s and other golden beers are choking the shelves of places with a limited selection, leaving very little room for god’s chosen beer – the Bourbon-barrel aged stout. I mean amber ale? Really?! And amber LAGER?!! What’s wrong with you people!!
Sorry I’m yelling, it’s just that this is a subject near and dear to my heart, going back to when I started being a beer geek. I’d go into a low-brow liquor store or Quickie Mart, and the only craft beer selections would be IPAs, lagers and seasonals. Yay? Where’s the Belgians? Where are the dark beers that don’t begin with “G”?
At least Belgian beers are trending up, which I consider good news. These are good gateway beers – my first real craft beer was a Chimay – and this shows that run-of-the-mill beer buyers (these are stats for convenience and grocery stores after all, not high-end beer palaces) are broadening their horizons. It’s also comforting to see light beer in decline, although I’m not sure if “light” and “craft” go together outside of Sam Adams.
Heck, even seeing Pilsner rocketing up the charts is good news, as those are probably folks switching from macro beers to craft offerings.
But this isn’t about them, it’s about you. I know you think you’re doing it right and that everything is under control. But just be sure, we’ve scheduled you for reprogramming. It’s for your own good.