Yep, it’s officially…(checking notes)…2022. The calendar really did turn over which means another year of craft beer drinking and craft beer growth. A recent Industry Research report anticipates a $65,000,000,000 increase in worldwide revenue between 2021-2025.
That’s billions with a capital “B.” I would argue with the researchers about whom they consider a craft brewery but I think we would agree that a lot of beer is going to be drunk.
What will drive this growth? Each year there is a new drinking trend, whether it’s hazy beers, ready-to-drink cocktails or hard seltzers. I reached out to a bunch of local breweries to ask what they thought would be trending in 2022.
Nick Corona, owner of Five Suits Brewing in Vista, shared a thoughtful reply that spanned a gamut of topics starting with how he anticipates needing to run the business during another year in which the coronavirus pandemic will create known and unknown challenges.
“On the business side, many breweries have already recognized that a requirement of operations during this pandemic is learning to do more with less,” Nick said. “With supply lines, staffing, & costs all in a state of flux, the best way to insulate against these uncertainties is to find ways to operate with more fluidity. I expect these strategies to be amplified in 2022 as we continue to see more of an ‘all hands on deck’ approach.
“As an owner, I know that I need to be on-site, available, and ready for the next challenge as much as possible, for the foreseeable future. We are two years into the pandemic with mandates still rolling out [and] while operating allowances are unfortunately being pulled back from government entities.
“That’s going to test the mettle for many of us. Solid teams and solid work cultures will survive, but anything less will be put to the test. It is important now, more than ever, to make time for your team members. Keeping things positive, lending an ear, and providing empathy and support through this long haul will go a long way to carry them through.”
Nick then touched on something that I happen to be experiencing in my personal drinking adventures, which is the return to drinking beer that I’ve found to be enjoyable time after time.
“On the consumer side, prices are bound to rise slightly due to the roll down that we are already seeing from suppliers,” Nick said. “While my hope is this will be short-lived, only time will tell as there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel just yet. Seltzers and alternative beverages seem to have hit a peak as more and more brands and styles have created a muddled market. I anticipate seeing consumers return to their tried and true style favorites as they decide to spend wisely on something that they have confidence in as opposed to taking a flyer on something new and uncertain.”
What trend are you hoping will hit in 2022? Check back, as I’ll be sharing the thoughts from more local brewery professionals next week.
Breaking News: According to a recent press release, Molson Coors Beverage Company just announced that it will cease operations of the Saint Archer brewery and remove Saint Archer brands from the retail marketplace. The company is in agreement to sell the Miramar brewery and taproom to Kings & Convicts Brewing Company. You’ll remember they are the Chicago-based company that purchased the Ballast Point Brewing brand in December of 2019.
According to Paul Verdu, vice president of Tenth and Blake, the craft division of Molson Coors, “The Saint Archer team has built a distinct brand that has a very loyal following in Southern California. Unfortunately, the overall business has struggled to grow despite investing significant resources behind its production and commercialization.”
At this time, Kings & Convicts intends to retain all the current operations and tasting room team members at both locations.
Stream the classic episodes of the Roast! West Coast coffee podcast on the Coast News Podcast page, and be sure to follow Cheers! North County on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Got an interesting story about your drinking adventures? Reach out! I want to hear it.