News Flask! News On Booze:
Red, White, and Brew – Craft Beer Booms
for Holiday Weekend
As the first figures of summer roll in, it’s clear that craft beer is king of the summer holiday. While Memorial Day is first and foremost a holiday to remember and respect those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country, the weekend is also marked by cookouts from sea to shining sea. We enjoy parades, barbecues, and apparently craft beer. According to the index presented by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and fueled by Fintech’s InfoSource™ database, craft brews were up 35% over their typical weekly volume – a number up 10% from the same 2017 data. Despite a dip in overall beer sales for the year, craft beer boomed again for the Fourth of July, but why?
It’s no surprise that American’s are looking for healthier options when it comes to food and drinks. Perhaps this has contributed to slow overall beer sales so far for 2018, which is only up about 1.7 percent for 2018. A surge for the holidays illuminates the fact that American’s are likely to indulge in a cheat meal every now and then. After all, nothing compliments corn-hole and a rack of ribs like a delicious, ice cold beer! And if you’re going to splurge, make it count with something like New Belgian Brewing Company’s Fat Tire Amber Ale, which has 155 calories per serving (about 45 calories more than Bud Light).
Another potential for the summer holiday spike could be a matter of access. On a day to day basis millennials, who are officially the largest adult generation, are turning to wine and mixed drinks more often than beer – and major beer brands are listening. For example, Boston Beer Company recently released their Angry Orchard Rosé Cider, which has already generated $17 million in off-premise sales year-to-date (a number I like to think I’ve massively contributed to). During the summer holidays, however, it’s likely that picnics or concert venues may not offer much wine or liquor, but rather a selection of local craft beer.
Lastly, craft beer brewers have taken the success of the last few years and converted that into colossal brand recognition and expansion. From lagers to India pale ales, down to sours and ciders, breweries are growing and making drinks to fit every pallet. But could this diversification be a reason for the overall decline in beer sales? Consumers are no longer pigeonholed into one beer; they scour grocery shelves for ciders or hard sodas – neither of which falls into the traditional or craft beer categories. Still, even across the vast expanse of craft brewery brands we’re picking favorites, so the surge of craft beer sales for holidays could be due to the quantity of craft beer purchased. Rather than a six pack to drink throughout the week, we’re buying cases to share, and thus increasing that brands sales.
While there’s obviously not one definitive answer, it’s clear that American’s are choosing craft beer brands at much higher rates during holiday weekends. So will the sales stats for Labor Day follow suit? Grab a craft beer and stay tuned!