As readers of this blog know, I don’t really know what I’m talking about. But, since this is a blog I’ll go ahead and make some predictions about beer in 2008 like I do know what I’m talking about. These may be generic enough to be gimmies or they could be totally uninformed or I could have pulled them out of my ass. Whatever the case, let me know what you think in the comments.
Craft Beer Sales Will Increase
This is an easy one. Last year, craft beer sales saw healthy increases. Not only that, but it seems like craft beer mindshare is still increasing and will continue to do so. This brings new craft beer drinkers into the fold. Also, more craft brewers are getting noticed or continuing their growth.
The Drinking Age in the US Will Not Change
Toward the end of 2007 there was much talk of the US drinking age. Nothing new as far as the arguments against it go, but the buzz was there for change or repeal. Call me cynical (really, I don’t mind), but when it comes to changing state laws–especially those tied to federal money–it takes a large disruption in the status quo to make any changes. I don’t know what group has a big enough stake in this to risk their position to push for it.
2008 Will Be the Year of Consolidation
We saw this trend gain steam at the end of 2007 and I think it will continue. Smaller brewers will continue to look at their competitors and see opportunities for combining their operations and/or brands to better compete in their current markets or expand to new markets.
Big Brewers Will Get Better at Creating “Craft” Beers
We should see Miller Lite’s craft series this year and A-B will likely continue on with their craft-styled beers. This year, I think we’ll see some of the biggies launch craft beers that look, smell, feel and taste like craft beers. Hopefully, this will get better beer in front of a larger audience. There will probably be some missteps along the way, but overall I think we’ll see some good beers.
I Will Continue to Post Erratically
As much as I like blogging, I know that I’ll continue to be pressed for time and at times lack motivation. I’ve been thinking about having some friends do guest blogging here so maybe I should put this on my (nonexistent) resolution list.