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Craft Beer Times | Victory for Big Beer: Constellation Brands Takes a Hit in Craft Beer Industry

Victory for Big Beer: Constellation Brands Takes a Hit in Craft Beer Industry

Victory for Big Beer: Constellation Brands Takes a Hit in Craft Beer Industry

The Rise and Fall of the Craft Beer Industry

The Glory Days

Craft beer was once the shining star of the alcohol industry, boasting unique and flavorful brews that appealed to niche audiences. Independent breweries popped up all over the country, with everyone from hipsters to beer snobs jumping on the craft beer bandwagon. The industry was growing at an astonishing rate, and it seemed like the sky was the limit for craft beer.

The Big Players Enter

However, it wasn’t long before the big players in the industry took notice of the success of craft beer and decided they wanted in. In 2013, Constellation Brands, the third-largest beer supplier in the U.S., acquired the craft beer company Ballast Point for a whopping $1 billion dollars. The acquisition made headlines and signaled a shift in the industry.

The Slow Decline

As the big players began to enter the craft beer scene, many independent breweries struggled to compete. The battle for shelf space became more and more intense, and marketing budgets exploded. Suddenly, being a craft brewery wasn’t just about making great beer – it was about having a recognizable brand and a massive marketing campaign.

Constellation Brands continued to acquire craft breweries, such as Funky Buddha and Four Corners, in an attempt to dominate the market. However, the acquisitions didn’t always go smoothly. Many craft beer enthusiasts felt that the independent spirit of their favorite breweries was lost in the corporate shuffle.

The Biggest Loser

Despite its attempts to dominate the craft beer market, Constellation Brands has struggled to turn a profit in the industry. In fact, the company reported a $108.9 million loss on beer sales in its most recent fiscal year.

The beer industry as a whole has been facing challenges in recent years, with younger generations shifting away from beer and towards wine and spirits. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant drop in alcohol sales overall.

The Future of Craft Beer

So, where does that leave the craft beer industry? While it’s possible that we’ll start to see a shift away from the big corporate breweries and back towards independent brewers, the reality is that the future is uncertain. As the market continues to evolve, we may see new players enter the scene and shake things up even more.

One thing is for sure – the craft beer industry will continue to produce amazing and innovative brews. Whether you’re a die-hard beer enthusiast or just enjoy a cold one every now and then, there’s something to be said for the unique flavors and experiences that craft beer can offer.


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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