Halfway Home? Craft Continues Climbing, but Ascent Gets More Complicated

Craft Brewers Conference 2015
Location: Portland, Oregon
Speakers: Benj Steinman

Craft continued its dizzying double-digit growth for the fifth year in a row in 2014. While the segment’s growth remained robust, some clouds became more evident as craft kept climbing. A number of deals to purchase all or part of former craft breweries created some questions for the future. Private equity firms, family offices, foreign brewers as well as two purchases of former craft breweries by Anheuser-Busch suggested a changing landscape for craft ownership. And while many craft breweries continued to grow at exceptional rates, others began to face more challenges meeting their objectives. We will review how craft has remained exceptionally healthy and vibrant overall, but exhibited signs of growing pains.

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