• 06/24/2024

    Are Colorado Beer Drinkers Over Craft Beer, or Is Something Else Going on? 

    May 20, 2024
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    Earlier this month, Colorado Public Radio did a spotlight on Colorado’s craft beer industry and the “recent consumer trends” that point to the industry boom coming to an end. 

    “While the last decade has been a high point for craft beer enthusiasts in Colorado, recent consumer trends indicate the industry may be entering a down period. Nationwide, beer sales were down about 1 percent in 2023. In Colorado, Adelson said sales dipped by 6 percent.”

    According to the Brewers Association, that’s the worst it’s ever been since they began tracking that metric in the 1970s. 

    To their credit, CPR recognizes that increases in production costs are driving up consumer costs. Shawnee Adelson, executive director of the Colorado Brewers Guild, telling the outlet, “Things like malt, paperboard, cans, all of their inputs have gone up about 20 to 50 percent since 2019.”

    This is not specific to the craft beer industry, of course, as consumer costs are rising as a result of increased production costs in most industries according to April’s price indices.

    Further, inflation is getting a lot of “love” on earnings calls, according to FactSet’s analysis of S&P500:


    But while CPR acknowledges that economic backdrop, the state funded outlet then launches into a discussion of changing consumer tastes and behaviors, while casually mentioning several breweries that are closing permanently or otherwise changing their business models and customer experiences. You can read the full story here

    Colorado Breweries are a part of our way of life, our taprooms, with their board games and food trucks, and unique and engaging spaces, are at risk of becoming a memory. 

    But while CPR downplays the impact of inflation as a factor in the changing market and consumer behavior, it’s difficult to disentangle the two. 

    We've all been to fewer breweries since 2019, but that’s not because we stopped enjoying taprooms. 

    It’s only because we can not longer afford the experience. 

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