Is Craft beer Recession-Proof?

23 January 2009

This is just one indicator of how well the craft beer industry did in 2008, but a positive sign that perhaps craft beer is recession-proof.

From Magic Hat Brewery:

Magic Hat enjoyed a 26% growth in sales in 2008, with December sales up 40% from the previous year. Debuts in several new territories, including Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta, as well as continued double-digit sales growth in mature markets, helped Magic Hat’s flagship beer, #9, enjoy a 14th consecutive year of double-digit growth. Sales for the not quite pale ale were up 33% in 2008.

Alan Newman, president of Magic Hat Brewing Company, commented, “Our 26% increase in depletions in 2008 is a testament to the growing demand for full-flavored craft beers, and the strength of the Magic Hat brand in this industry. We’ve gone from making kegs for a few Burlington bars to being the 12th largest brand in the country. People have really flocked to our beer, and become devoted when they do. It just goes to prove that if you put out a quality product, have fun doing it, and respect your customers as you go, the universe will deliver the rest.”

With Magic Hat’s brewery expansion nearly complete, the brewer expects to put out 165,000 barrels in 2009, a significant increase over the 127,586 barrels brewed in 2008.

3 comments (click to read or post):

stingo 23 January, 2009 10:58  

I'd say it is, in the sense that people will continue to buy their core beers, but experimentation with new styles/breweries will taper off.

mybeerbuzz,  23 January, 2009 13:59  

I'm also hearing that people are buying lesser beers or more affordable beers, but still buying beer. Sounds like recession-proof but not necessarily price-proof.

tazio 28 January, 2009 05:45  

Personally, I've cut back a little and don't immediately replace a kickstel. From what I can see my peeps are still buying great beers but perhaps one bottle less per visit.

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