What Did Brewers and Beer Lovers Want to Know in 2016?

“Wherever you go, there you are. So where do you want to be?” I often end presentations with this quote, and it certainly rings true when it comes to manifesting one’s own destiny. Based on beer’s trajectory of late, various forces are at play in evolving its destiny.  In 2016, AB-InBev made it clear that it wants to be a “disruptor”—good or bad (see ZX Ventures as one example). And as an example of what I call the “slow overnight success story,” small and independent U.S. craft brewers have certainly disrupted and shifted beer by bringing full flavored brands and styles to the forefront in tap rooms, bars, liquor stores, and living rooms across the U.S.

This shift is both local and now abroad, thereby effectively and undisputedly pegging the U.S. as the number one beer destination on the planet. It turns out, the disruptors ultimately are us—the beer lovers. In the end, what really matters is what most piques the peeps—aka those purchasing the beautiful beverage. The Brewers Association has access to telling insights into these motivators as the publisher of three of the main websites in beer: BrewersAssociation.org, CraftBeer.com, and HomebrewersAssociation.org. As we reflect back on 2016 and look forward to 2017, let’s examine some of our most-visited web pages and top search terms for clues about beer’s current status, its inevitable evolution, and its potential destiny.

BrewersAssociation.org

We continue to see incredible interest from people wanting to know who is and who is not a small and independent craft brewer (the search terms “top 50” and “craft beer” directly relate to this). Additionally, some of our top beer lover, beer business, and media visitors have sought out beer and brewery data, brewery counts, style trends, and information on beer appreciation, beer schools, and Brewers Association membership. Additionally, the positive economic impact of breweries and jobs is top of mind for many.

Top 10 Visited Web Pages for BrewersAssociation.org (2016)

 

BrewersAssociation.org Top Search Terms (2016)
1. top 50
2. demographics
3. salary
4. business plan
5. craft beer
6. sustainability
7. jobs
8. power hour
9. insurance
10. safety

CraftBeer.com

CraftBeer.com

CraftBeer.com is our website dedicated to beer lovers. When looking at the top pages our audience visited in 2016, what stands out to me is that beer lovers are thirsty for our resources. They want to know more about the beverage they love. Booyah for that.

CraftBeer.comThe list below shows the most-visited pages. You’ll see that some are articles with clever headlines (kudos to our editors), but beyond that, beer style guidelines and specific beer styles are top of mind for beer lovers. As a matter of fact, CraftBeer.com’s beer style guidelines feature 80 of the top U.S. beer styles and appear to have become a go-to for consumers and retailers alike. These guidelines are extensive, but are not beer competition-centric.

“What is craft beer,” beer pairing, and beer education pages including beer schools and CraftBeer.com’s beer glossary all popped up frequently. It’s fun to see “battered” as a top search term. Let’s face it: anything with batter is better, and the fact that this subject drove many people to our website proves that the concept of beer and food has more than arrived.

Another surprise hit is CraftBeer.com’s Beer 101 Course. This educational course for beginners has proven to be the little engine that could. To date, tens of thousands have taken this one hour online course that addresses the basics of beer for those just dipping their toe into the carbonated waters of craft beer.

Top 10 Visited Web Pages for CraftBeer.com (2016)

 

CraftBeer.com top Search Terms (2016)
1. seasonals
2. helium
3. battered
4. glassware
5. IPA
6. ingredients
7. beer 101
8. saison
9. stout
10. bread

So when it comes to beer’s status circa 2016, we know that it has many faces and inspires many different avenues of appreciation and interest. Here’s to predicting that 2017 and beyond will continue to see beer education, jobs in beer, beer styles, and beer appreciation march onward and upward with the beer lover as the final judge and jury.

Julia is craft beer program director at the Brewers Association and publisher of CraftBeer.com. She is a homebrewer, a BJCP beer judge, Certified Cicerone®, co-author of the CraftBeer.com Beer & Food Course and co-author of Beer Pairing (Voyageur Press). In her role at the BA she serves as an educator and as a spokesperson for the association.

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