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Craft Beer Times | The State of Craft Beer: Is the Bubble Ready to Burst? – WFAE

The State of Craft Beer: Is the Bubble Ready to Burst? – WFAE

The State of Craft Beer: Is the Bubble Ready to Burst? – WFAE

Has the Craft Beer Bubble Burst? – WFAE

Has the Craft Beer Bubble Burst?

The Boom of Craft Beer

Craft beer has been on the rise for the past decade. From hoppy IPAs to crisp lagers, the variety of flavors and styles is endless, and each brewery puts their own spin on their creations. According to the Brewers Association, there were 7,346 craft breweries operating in the United States in 2019. With so many options, craft beer has become a popular choice for many beer drinkers.

The Craft Beer Bubble

But with the growing number of craft breweries, some have speculated that a bubble may be forming in the industry. A bubble is when an industry experiences rapid growth that eventually becomes unsustainable, leading to a crash. Some experts have compared the craft beer industry to the housing bubble that caused the 2008 recession.

Factors Contributing to the Bubble

One major factor contributing to the potential bubble is the saturation of the market. With so many craft breweries operating, competition for shelf space in stores and taps at bars has become fierce. Small, independent breweries are struggling to compete with larger craft beer companies that have more resources for advertising and marketing.

Another factor is consumer demand. According to a recent survey by Nielsen, 57% of craft beer drinkers reported drinking less craft beer than they did six months prior. Additionally, the survey found that non-alcoholic beer sales have increased by 33% in the past year, indicating a shift in consumer preferences.

The Future of Craft Beer

Despite the potential bubble, some experts believe that craft beer is here to stay. The Brewers Association reported that craft beer sales increased by 4% in 2019, which is slower than in previous years, but still shows growth.

Additionally, there is still room for innovation within the craft beer industry. As consumers become more health-conscious, breweries can focus on creating low-calorie and low-alcohol options. And with the rise of hard seltzers and other alternative alcoholic beverages, breweries may explore creating new styles of beer to capture the attention of consumers.


It is hard to say whether or not the craft beer bubble will burst. While there are certainly challenges facing the industry, craft beer has proven to be resilient and adaptable. As long as consumers continue to demand creative and unique beer options, craft breweries will continue to find ways to thrive in the market. Only time will tell if the industry will continue to grow or if a correction is necessary.


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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