I hope everyone has had a nice holiday season. The team here at Lance CPA Group has been enjoying time with family and friends and relaxing before we hit the long sprint into tax season. We are excited for what the new year will bring for our customers and our firm.
It is also the season to make predictions as to what the new year will bring. Here are my three predictions for the craft brewing industry for 2020.
#1: Return of the Flagships
As we have seen the brewing industry mature and become more hyper-localized over the past few years, there has been a shift or a call by consumers to more consistency from the breweries they frequent. One way I see this playing out in 2020 is the demand for more flagship beers from breweries. Craft breweries tend to showcase an ever changing menu of beers and while there were always fan favorites that keep coming up, there has not been the focus to have a steady set of flagship beers on with the occasional one offs or seasonals filling out the lineup. I see the demand of consumers rewarding breweries that offer a consistent set of beers in 2020.
#2: Buyers and Sellers
2019 saw some landmark mergers and acquisitions occur, particularly with the Boston Beer/Dogfish Head merger, Kirin acquisition of New Belgium, and the Kings and Convicts acquisition of Ballast Point. I would predict in 2020 that we see much more of this, including, 1. a number of craft breweries coming together in a joint venture/merger 2. the sale of another of craft brewing’s founding father craft breweries and 3. one of the private equity craft brewing conglomerates selling.
#3: The Year of The Mild and Other “Active Lifestyle” beers
If 2019 was the year of hard seltzer and pilsner and 2018 was the year of the hazy IPAs and pastry stouts, I see 2020 as the year of lower alcohol active lifestyle beers. We are starting to see some of the larger brands put 100 calorie hazy IPAs on the market, but particularly continuing the trend of lagers from last year, I would predict we see some lower alcohol, but full flavor beers like the English Mild and other traditional English style beers to become trendier in 2020. These beers fit well in the active lifestyle portfolio of beers, but offer the craft beer drinker something more interesting to drink.
What are your predictions for 2020? Send them along to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will compile them for an upcoming issue
With that, everyone have a wonderful New Year’s and a prosperous 2020!