Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Crafty Bud

graphed beer - via huffpo
There has been much in the press lately of the success of craft brewing. But what does this tell us about the future of beer in general?

For the US, craft beer sales are rising while overall beer market is weak, to say the least. For here in the UK, several articles have documented the characters behind beer's recent renaissance. These include not just local articles, but high profile pieces in both the New York Times and Washington Post.

There has been mention before - as discussed in an earlier post of mine about larger UK brewers and their forays into "craft territory" -  that big companies are taking note. But lets look at Really Big Beer for a second (e.g. Not Fullers). Surely, they can't ignore what's happening to their market?

And what happens? ABInBev have a scheme where they give their breweries room to experiment a bit with what appears to be a lot more stuff.

Budweiser Project 12 whittles down twelve zip-coded lagers - one brewed by each their regional breweries in the US - with the hope that they can release three to the wider world under their enormous throbbing brand (in a limited edition sampler just for this autumn. What, none for me?). However, for reasons I mentioned before about scalability, there are some things ABInBev will never be able to sell: While they might be able to gather together enough hops to cook up a Bud IPA, we won't be seeing a Stella Stout Huitres any time soon.

Curious to see how this turns out; happy that beer keeps getting more interesting. But as the wider world of beer is (sort of) rising to the challenge of a (definitely) weaker market, more and more crazy good craft brewers just keep getting crazily better.

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