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  • WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE!

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    Water, water, everywhere,

    let it all be beer to drink.

    Beer abound everywhere,

    our options have to shrink?

     

    The variety of craft beer available that can be had in today’s market is almost boundless. In 2011, Texas had only around 60 breweries. Fast forward to numbers for the end of 2016 and there were 257 licensed craft breweries in Texas, not including those of the macro or contract brewing variety. That year to year growth is slowing but it is continuing. It often leads me and others to the question of, “How much further can it go?” Quite a bit, I believe. We still have a ways to go to match German brewery counts of around 1300! On the flip side, your ability to find that new Callahan’s Pimento Garlic Milk Stout is going to get harder. There is only a finite amount of shelf space and package stores are not putting more in. Some markets are seeing retailers shrink their shelf space, forgoing the bombers. This makes sense from a business stand point for your large grocers where 22oz bottles tend to not move in any reasonable volume. Other stores have decided to cut back by focusing only on what is hyper local. I am not saying that this is ubiquitous across the state but it points to a hurdle both breweries and consumers may have to face. Many breweries will continue to try to take new markets and fight for precious tap handle and shelf space. However, I would not be surprised to see more brewers turn inward and keep their product distribution within their town, content serving a small but loyal community. At the end of the day I am not too worried and would argue that either would be a pareto improvement. It just means a future filled with excellent road trips is of the upmost importance to discover delicious well-crafted beer.

     

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    Cheers!

    Adam Weeks

     

     

    Sources:

    BrewersAssociation.org
    CraftbeerAustin.com
    Fortune.com

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