(Reno, NV) – With the string of posts here on Friday about breweries like Buckbean Brewing closing down, people are asking for a list so here it is:
More importantly, is this a trend?
As interesting as it is that these six breweries announced that they were closing in a span of just two weeks…not necessarily.
Looking back at The Brewers Association’s list of openings and closings in 2011, six breweries closed during the months of January and February. We are only slightly ahead of last year’s pace if you factor in that February is halfway over. Not to be unexpected considering the increase in breweries that are planning to open this year, a number that may even top 300.
Actually, if we look back at the mid-late 90s, closures aren’t going to be a story for quite a while. IF the cycle of the mid-late 90s repeats itself, we will first see growth in the segment decline, then the number of new breweries will slow down, and finally more breweries will close than will open.
According to the Brewers Association…
From 1995 to 1997, annual craft beer volume growth went from 58% to 2%.
From 1994 to 1999, net craft breweries gained passed 1,100.
From 2000 to 2006, net craft breweries lost was only just over 100.
From 2004 to 2005, annual craft beer volume growth went from 1% to 7%.
…And so began the current cycle of growth…
Considering all the cultural differences of today versus 15 years ago, it is hard to envision the cycle repeating itself nearly as drastically as it did back then and many brewers have said as much.
The big story to watch over the next few years from a perspective of interest may even be less about ‘craft’ itself and more about large companies like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors and their continually evolving role in the better beer segment.
That said, expect to see more posts devoted to closures…and even more posts devoted to openings.
As longtime BeerPulse reader, Patrick Boegel, puts it, think of this as little more than “natural selection.”