Is Craft Beer Burning Out?

I know a lot of Rbeerians who will say ‘Aye’ to that. Let’s hear your thoughts.

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When Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, the owner of Evil Twin and one of the world’s most prolific craft beer creators got a little misty-eyed on Facebook recently when he wrote: “Man I miss the good old days where we didn’t have to put out 5 new beers every week to make the customers happy”

There’s some real irony here considering Evil Twin was one of the forebearers of this trend. Well before everyone else was doing it, you could barely enter a craft beer shop without seeing 15 new Evil Twin cans screaming at you from the fridge.

Craft beer is dying because its killed itself. In embracing two new beers every week; in embracing hazier and hazier IPAs; in embracing adjunct-first beers of infinite varieties, craft beer has reached an unsustainable endgame that can only crash and burn. There is no more room to grow, and nowhere left to continue adding variety and keeping people interested but backwards, and none of the haze bros and fruit juice sour drinkers are going to start embracing maibock and dunkleweizen and tripel.


As puzzl said “none of the haze bros and fruit juice sour drinkers are going to start embracing maibock and dunkleweizen and tripel” states it fairly well.

Personally, I think you can look at Ratebeer as the prime example. If we change the question to “Is RateBeer burning out” rather we like to acknowledge it or not, it seems so. Therefore, I think that is a decent indicator of the overall feelings towards the industry at a reputable level. I think craft brewers will continue to exist in an over saturated market as long as the Untappd lifestyle is alive and kicking and brewers can come up with enough stupid concoctions to fill these wants but it won’t last forever. I certainly have hope for the industry and this site alike but I think we will see a downward spiral and a stretch of loneliness before it becomes an appreciable thing again.

I’ll be the first to admit, I jump on my chance to try some new crazy brew and often enjoy them, but if they weren’t around, I wouldn’t be pissed, I’d just drink more of the core beers my local breweries made and support them in that manner. I tick because it’s available, but there are days I wish breweries would just stop making new things. That’ll never happen though.


That doesn’t mean craft beer is dying, just that a part of the market might shrink.
A part of the current new craft drinkers is trend-follower/hipster. Nothing wrong with that, but they will move on and that will have it’s effect on the market. Just as will happen with gintonic.


Almost every state in the US has a more vibrant beer scene than ever before. More than 7000 operating breweries just in the US. I don’t really believe most brewers fine tune established beers either; it seems like most just repeat the same process. I can’t think of any breweries who have the same brewers that have improved their product considerably in my experience.

I don’t think we have jumped the shark yet but getting close.

@beastiefan2k You just used a Happy Days reference. The only reason I know that because somebody a few years older said that expression and I asked him to explain it. wow!!

So, if we haven’t jumped the shark yet. What would be jumping the shark?

If a sour ale with 3 different fruits, 2 different mixed cultures, triple dry hopped and made with lactose sugar is not crazy and stupid, then what is??

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Depends on how good it is in terms of quality, how pronounced and thus useful the additions are, how much I personally like it…

I see some valid concerns in all this, but also a lot a cheap rants on the expense of “millennials”. Aging craft beer drinkers having a hard time to keep up with a scene that is slightly spiraling out of their control.There a valid concerns about quality when brewers just want to chime in to the next fad. But don’t tell me that the whole NEIPA hype hasn’t brought us some really great brews.
Does that mean I like adjunct-heavy one-offs over Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? Actually, no. I’d drink the later before an Omnipollo adjunct bomb any day. That doesn’t mean that Noa isn’t a brilliant beer.

This article is talking about a particular type of beer drinker that represents a tiny fraction of the beer-drinking world. If your brewery has appealed to this drinker from the offset, in order to chase / generate hype and sales, then I can understand how their fickle promiscuous tendencies could be a concern for you.

Step out of the craft bubble for a second, and it’s pretty clear 95% of people don’t think about beer every day or care in the slightest about beer apps. I’m gonna bet most who have converted from macro just want a good solid uncomplicated beer they can stick with for the evening.

Craft Beer’s not dead. But perhaps the hype train is reaching the end of the line.


Moon Dog have been Jumping the Shark since 2013

Sit on it, @AirForceHops!

I’m sure I’m repeating some of the comments here with this, but my main issue these days is that breweries are pumping out a ton of beers that are very similar to one another.

I got a flight of beer not too long ago at a brewery and 5 of the 6 were IPAs. I’d hazard a guess that 4 of the 5 all had subtle variations between each of them, but were probably the same base malts and probably even the same yeast strain. Only one really felt like it stood out from the others.

The problem is that they were all decent beers. If all these places were pumping out bad new beers every single week, the criticism about IPAs (in particular) would probably have a stronger leg to stand on.

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As far as I know Yuengling is still the biggest “craft brewery” in USA. According to ratebeer, in the last 10 years they have introduced exactly 5 new beers!

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Now your talking cost and their well known lager still seems to provide enough flavor that people buy 12 packs by the cartful since the local grocery drops the price under 12 dollars.

I believe price and canned dates (which is my pet peeve) might slow the sales down which effects interest. Im an boring IPA drinker only and if its not 8 weeks or less canned date old , I don’t buy it. So, I cant really give you a clear answer on Is craft beer burning out? Id like to see more sampler packs possibly six packs this time.Keep the same style together. Since beer so complex in flavors and so expensive now, breweries would have a better chance to see which beer sells the best . I know one thing , small local breweries have been a cheap date for the young crowd with bar games and aesthetic scenery. Its not time to burn out yet cause craft beer is everywhere now even in grocery stores with growler shops that let you shop and drink at the same time.

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descriptive. Thank you for the input

Just another Happy Days reference, no harm intended.

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I agree it is stupid and and crazy but IPA sales still drive the craft industry and these side shows are a passing fad. When the side shows become the industry leader then we have jumped the shark, imo.

One point I would critique in the article is that it is assuming people are chasing hype rather than drinking local. Quite to the contrary, I think people are chasing local hype. In NYC, i could probably taste/rate just as much as I currently do and never drink a single beer made outside of the boundaries of the city. If anything, I think this is making people more local oriented, as they are not as often chasing some IPA made in San Fransisco, as they are getting the lateat instagram-hyped beer from their local brewery. Obviously, this is more true for people who live near hype factories (Miami, NYC, Boston, NoVa, etc…), but I feel that the assumption was sort of off base.


Fully agree!