We’ve hit on this before at sevenpack, but there is another article discussing the “perfect storm” of rising hop and malt prices and its affect on brewers. Unfortunately the full article is only available to paid subscribers but I did find this interesting quote in the article:
“Our concern is, this price is too high for the consumer, and instead of picking up their favorite microbrewery, they’ll go back to 30-pack bottles and cans,” said Jay Herbert, owner of Holyoke-based Paper City Brewery.
I don’t actually believe this will happen. If anything the consumer might not purchase as much of their favorite microbrew, but I don’t think they will substitute with a macrobrew 30- pack. I recently did a comparison between Czechvar (ie Budvar) and Budweiser, look for the review shortly, and I couldn’t even finish the 22 of Budweiser, it tasted so bad. So for a microbrew drinker to completely switch to macrobrew, would be a heck of a leap. It would be for me anyway.
Though not as well written as the above article, there is also this news report which hits on the same theme (and the article is free).
Businessweek has an interesting article about craft brewers becoming more business-savvy. Seems more craftbrewers are hiring business consultants for dealing with distribution contracts, material purchase contracts, and other business functions, besides “running mainly on intuition”. As long as the craftbrewers stay creative with their beers, better business practices can not hurt things.
Flying Dog Brewery (official site | sevenpack reviews) is moving the remaining 30% of their beer production from their Denver, CO brewery to their Frederick, MD brewery. Their HQ will remain in Denver however. One reason for this production move, as mentioned in Eric Warner’s post, is the fact they “are facing unprecedented cost pressures due in large part to the tremendous hop and malt cost increases”.
Overturned beer truck = happy vendors