Craft Beer Trends 2017

Craft Beer Trends 2017

Keeping it fresh with craft beer trends in 2017.

1. Consumers want “new”

We’re in a day and age where a consumer’s favorite beer is the newest, lastest trend. The demand for craft beers has evolved tremendously, and thousands of breweries have popped up across the U.S. in the last 5-10 years. From working in a local bar for the last five years, I’ve noticed that consumers are ready and willing to try the latest releases of microbrews as well as different styles of beers: lagers, wit biers, IPA’s, you name it.

The current and rising demand for craft beers allows breweries quite a bit of freedom when designing their recipes, as beer connoisseurs are always ready to grab a pint of something different. Some breweries have taken this opportunity head-on and created the unimaginable, using ingredients such as squid ink (Sheeps Brewing Nimble Lips Noble Tongue), pizza (Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer), and even fresh goat brains (Dock Street Walker) to flavor their brews. The want for fun and exciting craft beers allows for such rampant experimentalism.

2. With craft beers, quality is what matters

Along with strange, even gross, ingredients brew masters must also keep in mind that quality keeps customers. Not in the sense that consumers will taste one pizza-flavored beer and only want to drink that one beer forever, but one quality-crafted beer and word-of-mouth go together, and a long way at that. Where bar atmospheres are already a more socially-inclined environment, word-of-mouth plays a key role in the introduction of new craft beers into the market.

Customer satisfaction is a staple of all business practice no matter what products or services you’re selling, nor to whom. A satisfied customer is likely to tell three people about their experience, while a dissatisfied customer will tell nine or more people about a product they did not like. 

With craft beer production steadily increasing, breweries need to produce quality beers in order to stay afloat in this ocean of opportunities. To be successful, these beers need to be crafted to pique consumers’ interests but also fit their ever-changing desires.  Some successful breweries in Charlotte, NC are:

3. Premiumization is Growing

With quality beers comes premium pricing, and consumers are paying top dollar for seasonal, limited release, and hard-to-find premium brews. Today’s craft beer trend stems from the idea of consumers — mainly “craft beer enthusiasts” — who want “new”…. meaning breweries can charge $8 or more for a 16-oz. draft beer and $15-$25 for 4-packs and 6-packs.

Sounds absurd, but when a customer wants to taste the latest and craziest craft beers, $8 seems like a small payment.  And when consumers find a product they love, they will continue to buy it at whatever price. 

4. Artwork Helps Sales

Lastly, if it isn’t the fresh goat brains and pizza that pull you in, it’s the artwork on the bottle or can that make new customers to a brewery or craft beer excited to take that first sip.

For many, the artwork is how they decide what to drink if they’re unfamiliar with what’s inside the can or bottle. Breweries such as Terrapin and Flying Dog execute visually appealing labels on their beers time and time again, but investing in intricately designed labels would not be worth the time and money if the beer they produced was not of great quality.

If the design attracts someone enough to pick up the can or bottle, they are already halfway towards purchasing it, so graphics and marketing is an important lure for first time tasters.

Crack Open a Cold One

The world of craft beer has never been in a better place to try new and crazy things. The increasing number of breweries keeps competition fresh and ever changing. That also means getting eyes to tasty brews means new marketing to stand out.

We know a little about that.