Do you like beer? You can turn that passion into a business. That would be the ultimate dream for many beer lovers.
However, it’s not that easy to start a business. It may require a lot of capital to get started. It’s also a big risk, with half of businesses failing before they hit the 5-year mark.
Before you decide to pursue your dream, you should look at the craft beer trends to make sure that your business is entering the industry at the right time and you have the right products and business model.
Is now a good time to get into the craft beer industry?
Keep reading to find out.
The Top Craft Beer Trends
You probably have a lot of questions as you’re exploring the industry. These craft beer trends will help you figure out where the industry is now and where it’s going. You’ll be able to position your business in the right spot if you decide that these trends are good for you.
1. Craft Brewery Sellouts
One of the top trends over the last few years is that smaller breweries are being gobbled up like Pac-Man cookies.
That local brewery that you went to for years may actually be owned by the same company that owns Budweiser. The major beer companies were caught off-guard by the craft industry trend.
In order for them to compete, they could enter the market and provide a broad range of products by buying out smaller breweries.
For smaller breweries, they would have a larger distribution and marketing budgets, allowing them to expand.
This is a big debate for breweries. Some see it as selling out, while others see it as survival.
2. More Competition
Beer drinkers have more craft beer choices than ever before. It can get overwhelming as beer drinkers have more choices.
That competition and choice have forced long-time breweries to close. It’s harder to get your name out there as a new business.
It seems that the industry is in an interesting place right now. Either you have a strong brand and great beer, or you go under.
3. It’s Harder to Do Business
You have to look at the big picture of the craft beer industry, too. The good news is that craft beer sales are still growing. Craft beer only accounts for a quarter of the beer market, too.
That leaves a lot of room for the industry to grow. With more competition, you have more breweries fighting over those sales.
4. More Creative Brews
One good thing that is coming out of the stiff competition for attention is that brewers are crating beers to stand out.
You’re starting to see things like CBD beers hit the market. You’ll also see more refreshing options like fruity ciders and citrus beers.
Brewers are also doing more with different types of ingredients like coffee and bourbon as well. Expect this trend to continue.
5. People Want Fewer Calories
Brewers are trying to get more creative to stand out. It that what consumers want? One of the craft beer trends is that customers want to have fewer calories in their beer.
Craft brewers are listening and offering more low-calorie options. As long as brewers can create a beer that is low calorie and tasty, they can survive more competition.
Starting Your Beer Business
Did you decide that you should throw your hat in the ring and start a craft beer business? It’s not easy, but there are opportunities in the market. Look at these tips to help you get started.
Choose Your Business Type
Don’t think that you’re limited to starting a brewery as your only option to start a business in the craft beer industry.
You have dozens of other options to start a business that serves brewers or drinkers. For example, you could be a quality control consultant, where you advise the head brewer and ensure each batch is high-quality.
You could be a beer blogger, where you target beer drinkers and review different beers. That can be profitable through advertising sales. Plus, if you grow your blog you can get advertising revenue and free products to taste.
Another option is to sell promotional products that breweries can use as giveaways. Their customers are likely to love things like custom koozies, with their favorite brewery’s logo on the front.
Write a Business Plan
No matter what kind of business you start, you need a business plan. Even if you’re starting a blog, a business plan will help you be more successful and more profitable.
You should have an in-depth business plan if you plan to see financing for your business. If you’re starting a blog or consulting a business, you can probably self-finance. Your business plan can be a one-page document.
However, investors and banks require a full, formal business plan. They want to make sure you did your homework. They also want to make sure that you aren’t going to throw their money away and you have a plan to deliver a return on that investment.
Register Your Business
You need to make your business official. You can use this opportunity to register your business with the secretary of state’s office, the local tax offices.
You may need to get an employer identification number from the IRS, too. It depends on whether or not you plan to hire employees right away.
Open Business Bank Accounts
Whether you’re an LLC or a sole proprietor, it’s a good idea to keep your business and personal finances separate. It’s hard to do early on, but will only protect your business and your personal assets down the road.
Define Your Brand
This will be the one thing that sets your business apart. Your brand is essentially what the foundation of your business is built on. It’s how your employees, customers, and vendors all think about your business.
You get to define that early on. Your marketing and company culture will support your brand and make it stick in the minds of consumers.
Are You Ready to Start a Craft Beer Business?
Starting a business is exciting, but you have to make sure you’re jumping in at the right time. The craft beer industry is experiencing growth, competition, and consolidation.
You need to know these craft beer trends to decide if this line of work is right for you. Are you ready for more business tips? Check out the business section of this blog often for more helpful articles.