COVID-19 Impacting Craft Beer Market

Mike Snider reported recently at USA Today Online that, “Beer lovers may soon find themselves crying in their beer – or at least what’s left of it. And you can blame it on the coronavirus.

“After a decade of ever-expanding beer choices – hazy, citrusy IPAs, crisp lower-alcohol lagers, mouth-puckering sour beers – the beer list could rapidly become shorter.

The lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has shuttered brewpubs and closed taprooms across the country. As local and state officials began instituting stay-at-home orders for much of the nation over the last month, the typical brewery experienced on-site beer sale declines of 65% with draft sales falling about 95%, according to a survey by the Brewers Association.”

Mr. Snider noted that, “Should official edicts preventing customers from consuming beer in a taproom or brewpub continue for a total of three months, many breweries may be forced to close. About six in 10 breweries said that could drive them out of business, according to the survey of 525 brewers earlier this month by the association, a trade group representing thousands of independent and small brewers.”

The USA Today article pointed out that, “Beer lovers have been treated to an abundance of choice as the U.S. added more than 5,000 new breweries over the last five years, bringing the nation’s total breweries to an all-time high of nearly 8,150.

But as many as 4,800 could go out of business if the shutdown continues through mid-June, the survey results suggest. Even with just one month of consumers staying at home, about 14%, or 1,120 breweries could face closure, survey respondents said.”

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