NewAir’s Decade in Review explores the biggest news and product innovations in beer during the 2010s. Here we look at the evolution of the beer business with a focus on industry disruptors and dollar value growth.

2010: The Booming Craft Beer Business

Source: BeerAssociation.org

Things really took off for craft beer in 2008 when two major beer company acquisitions took place, opening the market and igniting a combustion of craft breweries. The start of the 2010s marked a change in tides. Now, as we close out the end of the 2010s, we can look back and see how craft beer saw continued growth year after year.

2011: Beer Frosters Enter the Conversation

Craft Beer changed the way people drank beer. The type of glass and temperature of the style of beer, both became big consumption factors. However, what has stayed true through the test of time is the fact that Americans love ice cold beers. Beer Frosters entered the market in 2011, giving people a way to get their frosty beer fixes at home. New Beer Frosters are reentering the scene as we end the 2010s, offering new features and new ways to enjoy beer.

2012: Craft Beer Retail Dollar Value Hits $10.2 Billion

Source: BeerAssociation.org

Let’s take a quick pause to look at the numbers. In 2012 we see a 15% growth in craft beer since the previous year. The total number of craft breweries rings in at 2,403. By the Brewers Association’s calculations, the dollar share of these breweries amounts to $10.2 billion. Things are looking great so far.

2013: Growlers Set the New Drinking Standard

As we close out the decade, its hard to imagine a time when personal growlers were not a thing. It wasn’t until 2013 that growlers came on the scene. They made us all go big or go home when it came to beer. Now, they are a must in the world of craft beer.

2014: Craft Beer Retail Dollar Value Hits $19.6 Billion

Source: BeerAssociation.org

Quick market recap: a total of 3,464 breweries are open in the USA in 2014. The beer market saw a 18% growth since the previous year. Things continue to look up as the industry takes home $19.6 billion in market retail dollar value.  

2015: Distilled Hop Oil (Pure Hops Essence) Changes the Game

You’ve probably never heard of distilled hop oil, unless you are a brewer by occupation. However, you probably do remember the sudden appearance of highly hopped up IPA’s hit the bars and shelves in even higher numbers. Distilled hops were an innovation at the time. Liquid hops store longer the fresh stuff, allowing brews to brew more over a longer period.

2016: Craft Retailer Dollar Value Grows to $23.5 Billion

Source: BeerAssociation.org

It’s now 2016 and the brewery count in the USA has reached 5,301. Across the board we see jumps in craft brewpubs, microbreweries, and breweries. Together, these operations raked in $23.5 billion dollars.

2017: UberEATS Starts Delivering Beer and Booze

Because ridesharing and food delivery wasn’t enough, UberEATS started to deliver beer and booze straight to people’s doorsteps in 2017. There are rules around what and how users can order alcohol, but regardless, home delivered drinks is right in line with the tech advances we are seeing in the service industry.  

2018: Gluten-Free Beer Takes the Stage

Gluten-free has stolen the show in the 2010s. Many different categories of food and beverage are coming out with gluten-free alternatives. In 2018, there are now dozens of craft, gluten-free beer options to choose from.

2019: Cannabis-Infused Beer Keeps Things Trendy

Cannabis-infused beer has officially made its way into both mainstream and craft markets. Blue Moon recently released a new line of cannabis-infused beer called Ceria. Ever since cannabis was legalized in several states across the USA, marijuana-infused and flavored products have cropped up everywhere.

What Lies Ahead?

We don’t have the final figures for 2019, but some early numbers suggest craft beer growth is slowing down. The rise in non-beer products—hard kombucha, cocktails, and hard seltzer—are the mostly likely culprits. Industry-leaders will have to make interesting decisions to keep up with consumer trends. Only time will tell what they come up with.

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