Some folks say that the craft beer bubble is gonna burst, but I think it will stick around for a while yet. Especially when your brew is worth $5,000,000.
Okay, let me clarify that a bit.
According to Wikipedia and Wikipedia Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage and accounts for about 85% of the volume of alcoholic beverages in the US and waaaay back in 2009 (can someone PLEASE update the Canadian stats for this???) beer claimed 46% of the dollar value of alcoholic beverages. If you realize you get a lot more beer for your buck than you do for wine, that’s a lot of golden liquid that is poured.
A lot of that though goes to the macro-breweries (the brew-app Untappd categorizes a macro brewery as more than 6 MILLION barrels/year as a macro brewery, less than 200 gallons as a nano brewery, and everything in between as a micro brewery) though the craft brew market has been making such an impact over the last 10 years that the big boys are trying to buy them up.
Some craft brews are worth money, not only to the local economy, but to wherever they export their suds to. The problem is, if they produce too much, they risk losing their craft staus. I believe that this is why Dogfish Head no longer exports to Canada. So, if I want one of their seasonals, I have to travel to a place I can get it.
And many people do. Stats just released show that the economic impact to Santa Rosa, California, was almost $5 Million in February 2016 thanks to 16,000 or so beer geeks. Why February? That’s when Russian River Brewing releases their craft brew Pliny the Younger (their Pliny the Elder beer has received a rating of 100/100 based on over 13000 ratings!) for the first 2 weeks, or until supplies are gone. About 61% of those were tourists, and 40% of those stayed in local lodging, in addition to spending over $70 in the brewpub. Plus, they ate, slept, fornicated and probably puked after bar hopping everywhere else. Looks like over 90% who took the survey said they’d come back again.
Not sure if I’ll see you there next year or not…I might have my beer goggles on!