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2017 Too Many Breweries?

I never thought the above headline would exist! The craft beer industry has been on a phenomenal expansion over the last ten years. In 2006 there were just over 1400 breweries in the US. Today there are over 5000 with more in the planning stages. There have been acquisitions, mergers and partnerships formed in the last few years. Although most of these newer breweries will be primarily local, are there enough beer drinkers to consume the additional quantity of beer being produced? Will the breweries take each others business? One of the latest trends is small producers brewing light lagers similar to the big guys. Since over 45% of the US market is light lager there is room for growth there. The big three (Bud, Miller, Coors) could lose market share as people move to local producers, if the quality is there. Of course, the big three already are into the craft market. Craft beer is considered an "affordable luxury", so growth will continue. It remains to be seen just how much that growth will be. Younger drinkers having grown up on craft beer will 'move up' to premium brands and styles (high end IPA's, barrel aged styles and limited release brews). As always, it will be important to bring new consumers to the table. Education on the product and its background will be helpful in raising interest in the wide variety of brews now available. I expect the growth of the industry to continue in 2017 and beyond. It won't be as robust as the last few years but it will still be impressive compared to other consumer product categories

Cheers, Larry

 

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Civil Society Brewing - Jupiter, FL

Civil Society Brewing is in the Abacoa area of Jupiter FL. For the last 10 years the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival, (See below) has been held just blocks from Civil Society. I mention this to show just how far the industry has come. At that first festival there were no Jupiter area breweries because there weren't any. There were a few south Florida breweries but nothing like today. Jupiter now has several breweries and craft beer is available almost everywhere. Civil Society is about a year old and the space has an industrial look with exposed concrete, steel everywhere and 'graffiti' all around. My visit was in the early afternoon so it was quiet in the taproom. There is a good selection of brews with several different IPA's. The "Fresh" IPA was my favorite followed by "Seventh Wonder" a DIPA. It was a good start to the festival weekend; several others that were going to the festivals also were here. The atmosphere is laid back and friendly and there will be return visits, I'm sure. There are a few pictures on the GBL FB page and CSB's website is HERE.

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Field of Beers / Craft Brewers Festival - Jupiter, FL

The eight annual Field of Beers was held Friday January 27th. The event is in Roger Dean Stadium along the baselines and dugouts. It is limited to 375 people and has 15 stations where a beer is paired with a special food selection. The event is one of south Florida's best with beer enthusiasts and industry people enjoying the food and beer pairings. It was a beautiful late January night; cool and clear. This festival had been blessed in it's 9 years, to never have weather affect the event. As I entered the left field Twisted Trunk Brewing had their Leroy Brown Jr. Ale paired with "Arby's" Beef & Cheddar! (Sous vide beef topped with cheddar ale sauce.) Other memorable parings: Venison and Elk Shepard's Pie paired with Tequesta Brewing's Mind Bender Golden Coffee Stout, Rabbit Empanada with Green Room Brewing Three sheets Belgian Tripel. Oceania Coffee and Rincon Heat (Good hot sauce) both were there as they have been for years. They are local companies that usually have their products featured in several of the pairings. The FOB was the best as always and the walk home made the evening complete. (There is now a hotel just across from the stadium.)

The festival was on Saturday afternoon. This was the 11h annual and the organizers really have everything down. After entering the stadium there is a wide variety of food available. The festival area is set up with tents around the perimeter and a few in the center. I have found that arriving late is the answer to lines entering. A map of breweries is provided so you can find one you are looking for. This festival has changed over the years. When re-reading my 2007 review it sounds like a different place. There were very few Florida breweries in 2007; this festival has become a show place for all of our new breweries. It has been a subtle change but the make up of breweries has changed. Most south Florida breweries were represented. The Tamps Bay area has been coming here for years. New areas include Jacksonville and north Florida. They have just started coming and will increase each year, I'm sure. Noticeably absent was Sierra Nevada; I guess as a company they can't come to every festival on the calender.

 

 

 

 

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