|You're getting sleeeeeepy...|
The basic premise of the article is that there will be too much competition in the craft beer industry. Sam Calagione is quoted saying, "We're heading into an incredibly competitive era of craft brewing. There’s a bloodbath coming." (Their emphasis.) I wasn't aware that competition was a bad thing for consumers. I actually thought that competition was the basic premise of why we have the craft beer industry to start with.
I also remember around that same time when Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Anchor Steam were all the rage. Remember them? Oh wait--they're still two of the bestselling craft beers in the country. And it's because they're great beers. American craft beer drinkers aren't fickle--they're ruthlessly discerning. Tastes do change slowly over time, but the bottom line is that if your beer isn't good, it's going to get eaten by the competition. I fail to see how this is a bad thing.
The only other evidence given for having too many breweries is that the craft drinkers will be confused by all the new brews. This makes some pretty big assumptions about American craft beer drinkers. First, it assumes that craft beer drinkers are uneducated about their choices. Second, it assumes that all of these 3,000 breweries are on the tap list when you're trying to order your beer.
|If there's a bloodbath coming, Colorado is on|
the front lines. Better call Jed and his buddies.
If you have a wealth of great local and regional breweries, you don't have to rely on hard to find specialty beers from far-flung breweries. Instead, you can pop down to the local brew pub on a Tuesday night to drink that fantastic beer while shooting the shit with the brewer at the bar. More breweries means more good local breweries to choose from.
I think other bars should take a cue from Green Room and put a greater focus on local and regional beers. Mike has over 100 beers there, and 90% or more are from Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, or Nebraska. There's no need to be an expert in beers from the east and west coast when you know where to find the fantastic local beers.
Here's one more thing that Bon Appétit seems to have missed: in 1871, there was one brewery per 9,300 people in America. That corresponds to 34,000 breweries with today's population. Too many breweries? Not by a long shot.