Only a modest percentage of beer drinkers say they prefer domestic craft or microbrew beers, but an impressive 59% say they like to try them, and 51% would try more craft or microbrew beers if they knew more about them.
With that I bring you Mintel's newest findings, again eye-opening:
- Craft beer accounts for $12 billion of a $78 billion dollar beer market (15.4%), and craft's growth should rise 50% in the next five years.
- A quarter of American beer drinkers drank more craft beer in 2012 than the year before.
- Craft has an even larger share of the draft market, at 22%.
- Over a third (36%) of Americans regularly drink craft beer, and over half of millennials (under 35) do.
- Interestingly, only half of craft beer drinkers are interested in locally-brewed beer, and just a quarter in drinking beer where it was brewed. (Mintel puts those in positive terms, but they seem far lower than I expected, so I'm flipping the emphasis.)
- And from my perspective, one of the most important findings is this one: “Despite the variety of beer releases created by craft breweries, craft beers are not yet everyday beer choices for most drinkers due to a lack of understanding about their taste profiles. An additional barrier is lack of knowledge. Craft brewers need to focus on education through tastings and classes that inform consumers about the differentiation in flavor between craft beer and other alcoholic drinks.”
For some years, I've been predicting that the seemingly inviolable hegemony of tin-can lagers is not so. But it feels like predictions about global temperatures from the 1990s. All the new data suggests that things are happening way faster than anyone realized. If I were to make a prediction for the next five years, it would be that the landscape of what we consider "mass-market" beer is going to go through the first tectonic shift we've seen since the 19th century. That may be premature--it could happen after 2020, say--but I would be shocked if it didn't happen by then.