Approaching the Beyond Beer Category with Craft Beer Integrity

Craft Brewers Conference 2023
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Speakers: Sam Calagione, Garrett Marrero, Bart Watson

The alcohol beverage space has been a three-horse race for thousands of years: beer, wine, and spirits. In the last decade, a fourth category has emerged and is generating a lot of interest and attention from consumers, distributors, and retailers: the fourth category, also called the “Beyond Beer” category. Independent craft brewers’ strengths should allow us to win in the fast growing Beyond Beer space. It’s all about recipe, ingredients combinations, and innovation at a spectrum of different ABVs that has been in the indie craft brewer’s wheelhouse (more so than bigger global competitors in the beer space) for over three decades. Now we need to bring it to beer and beyond beer!

This discussion with Garrett Marrero of Maui Brewing, and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head will be moderated by Bart Watson, Brewers Association (BA) Chief Economist, and will explore the opportunities for American craft brewers to use our unique superpowers to thrive in the fast-growing beyond beer space. Bart will set up the discussion with an up-to-the-moment review of the most relevant data, showing which categories and sub-categories in the beyond beer space that are driving the most growth, share examples of BA-defined craft breweries’ successes in some of these categories, and provide an outlook on where he sees the white space going forward.

Bart will then lead Sam and Garrett through a discussion on their respective companies’ learnings thus far from playing in these categories. From malt-based seltzers to full-proof spirits, and from ready-to-pour to ready-to-drink, they will touch on subjects that many craft breweries are currently navigating as they engage with this exciting new space. Talking points will include product development, route to market, and navigating state and federal regulatory and taxation considerations that are often different from those for traditional beer portfolio management.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore craft brewers' advantages over global competitors in developing beyond beer products Listen to a comparative discussion of subcategories of beyond beer Understand regulatory and tax considerations specific to beyond beer Identify areas of opportunity for craft brewers entering the beyond beer space

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