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Craft Beer Times | Exploring the Future of Craft Beer in an Evolving Industry – Wyoming Public Media

Exploring the Future of Craft Beer in an Evolving Industry – Wyoming Public Media

Exploring the Future of Craft Beer in an Evolving Industry – Wyoming Public Media

The State of the Craft Beer Industry


Craft beer has been all the rage in recent years, growing in popularity and sales across the country. However, some experts are now questioning whether the industry is on the decline. With the rise of seltzers and a shift in consumer preferences, it’s possible that the craft beer boom may be coming to an end.

The Numbers

According to the Brewers Association, craft beer sales in the United States rose by 12 percent in 2019. While this growth is still significant, it’s actually a decrease from the 13 percent growth seen in the previous year. And, as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the hospitality industry in 2020, craft beer sales fell by 9 percent. Furthermore, many small breweries have closed their doors permanently due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

Trends in Consumer Preferences

One possible reason for the decline in craft beer sales is the rise of seltzers. These low-calorie, flavored drinks have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among younger drinkers. In fact, sales of hard seltzers grew by a staggering 200 percent in 2019. This trend has continued into 2020 and beyond. As a result, some breweries have begun to introduce their own seltzer lines in an attempt to capture this growing market.

The Future of Craft Beer

Despite these challenges, many experts believe that the craft beer industry will continue to thrive. This is because there will always be a market for high-quality, flavorful beers. Additionally, with the closure of many small breweries, there is now more room for larger breweries to expand and dominate the market. Furthermore, the pandemic has forced breweries to adapt to new business models, such as online ordering and curbside pickup, which may actually benefit the industry in the long run.


It’s clear that the craft beer industry is facing some significant challenges, but it’s still too early to say whether the boom is over. As the industry continues to evolve, breweries will need to stay innovative and adaptable in order to succeed. Whether this means introducing new product lines or experimenting with new sales channels, the craft beer industry must remain nimble to keep up with changing consumer tastes and preferences.


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.

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