This article was originally published in Craft Brewing Business.Kinnek, the online marketplace for craft beverage producers, is a great place for craft brewers to buy anything from new pint glasses to new fermenters at the exact specs and price-point needed. As a result, we're also able to glean some unique insights into purchasing trends in the craft beer industry. Here's a snapshot of what’s hot in the industry this summer...
New growth: Craft brewing continues to grow its market share relative to big brewers and mass craft brewers. A study by the Brewer’s Association focusing on craft brewers (minus larger outfits like Boston Beer) revealed a ~10% increase in sales y/y. Anecdotally, the proliferation of small, local brewers at Craft Brewers Conference indicated new players entering the industry everyday.
Flavored beer: Flavored beer is growing in popularity as brewers continue experimenting with different combinations including both sweet and savory. These products accounted for 27 percent of the newly launched beer products on the market.
Brewstilleries: Kinnek has spoken with a number of brewers looking to build on their brewing operations by also producing spirits. And why not? To a certain point the ingredients and processes are similar, with divergence at the production stage.
Purchasing Trends on Kinnek
The biggest purchasing changes year-to-date on Kinnek (compared to 2015) are exhibited in the table pictured on the right.
As you can see, requests for brewhouses have changed significantly, which may indicate the decrease in the rate of craft brewery expansions overall.Nevertheless, we saw a general increase in requests for brewery supplies in our craft beverage production category.
While breweries may not be brewing more, the data suggests they may be moving to new ways of packaging or promoting their products. That could be related to perceived or actual increased competition.
Kinnek State of the Brewing Union
On the left, we've compared new and existing breweries & microbreweries per capita, per state across the US.
Montana and Vermont are the hot spots for new breweries in the United States right now, even more so than last year.In the meantime, established craft brewery areas such as the Pacific Northwest and Northeast remain strong for existing microbreweries.