The report suggests there is a lack of understanding about craft beer

The report suggests there is a lack of understanding about craft beer

Craft beer sales in the US will rise to US$18bn by 2017, but there remains a “lack of understanding” among drinkers about the sub-category, according to a new report. 

The Mintel study, published yesterday (23 January), said sales of craft beer have nearly doubled from US$5.7bn in 2007 to US$12bn last year, despite the economic downturn. This “robust growth” is expected to continue for the next five years, the report said. 
Research last year also revealed that the number of craft breweries in the US is at a 125-year high

But Jennifer Zegler, a Mintel beverage analyst, said that despite the variety of craft beers available they are “not yet everyday beer choices for most drinkers due to a lack of understanding about their taste profile”.

She added: "To continue growing, craft beer must be its own best advocate and expand appeal beyond Millennials who are most likely to consume craft beer.” 

Mintel pointed to other “challenges” for the sub-sector. A majority (56%) of consumers feel that domestic beer is better value compared to craft beer.

Zegler said craft breweries should “consider partnering to create multibrewery variety packs that would offer consumers a taste of one city, state, or region”.

She added: "These taste-of-an-area packages would allow consumers to experience smaller breweries from their own or other geographies." 

Zegler, also noted that craft beer is a “small segment of the US$78bn US beer sector”, but has been able to “stabilise the overall beer industry”. 

In an exclusive interview with just-drinks earlier this month, Goose Island founder CEO John Hall said he is surprised there has not been more M&A activity in the craft beer sector in recent times