You love the blog, so subscribe to the Beervana Podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud today!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Lessons From Oregon's Mature Market

Josh Lehner of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, has an interesting teaser for a larger report that will be coming out next week in June. Because Oregon is such a mature market, the trends he sees might soon visit states elsewhere. To wit:

[T]he vast majority of the growth in local sales is driven by new breweries and their products. While the state’s legacy breweries have seen increased sales, much of their growth in recent years is outside of Oregon (either in other states or internationally.) 
It comes with these handy graphs:

I wondered aloud on Twitter whether this trend was an artifact mainly of Ninkasi's rapid growth. The answer--a little, but not much. "Overall, from '05-'14 if pull @NinkasiBrewing out, Oregon growth of 102% instead of 118% actual." Most of the growth comes from production breweries, but as distributor Jim Fick noted on Facebook, that trend will be affected by saturation at certain outlets in the future: "Grocery stores and on-premise are close to being saturated - but convenience stores are the next growth opportunity as craft sales are under-weighted there. It's already started somewhat but look for a large expansion of craft beers in convenience stores in the next 1-3 years."

So, even in Oregon, the most mature market in the US, growth has been robust and has the potential to keep growing for awhile. If you live in a state where craft beer has less than 10% of the market, you shouldn't be worrying about a bubble anytime soon.


  1. Expansion into C-stores is already well underway in our area. There's not nearly as much room for expansion here as Jim thinks, unless store owners decide to rip out shelves and walls and install new coolers. Portland, specifically, and Oregon, generally, are very much an anomaly, though. Nationally, I think there's plenty of room for expansion in C-stores. But I think the same can be said for grocery and even on premise. Most of the rest of the country is far behind what we're seeing here.

  2. C-stores have huge potential state wide. Walk into any Dairy Mart, or off brand independent outside of PDX and it's a time capsule. Bud, Miller, Coors, Widmere, Deshutes and maybe if you're lucky some Ninkasi or Oakshire. I do a lot of back country traveling in the summer. Most of Oregon is still big three in the coolers (and their sub brands). Plenty of room here, whether the locals pick those beers is another question. I recently stopped by a tiny quickie mart local to me here in west Eugene. They had Worthy's winter ale still on the shelf....