CBDAnushil Kumar Explains how the Art of Crafting High-End Beer Has Changed
Enjoying that delicious hoppy, sour or fruity beer you’ve been waiting for?
A couple of decades ago, you probably wouldn’t be able to get it. You’d only have a handful of beer brands to choose from at the store. But if you’re a beer lover, you’ll know that’s definitely not the case now.
In fact, people are actually buying less of the most popular brands and branching out into the many offerings from smaller breweries. So, what happened in the beer industry during the last quarter century or so? Marketing guru Anushil Kumar explains.
A Matter of Taste
The thirst for variety has helped push the craft beer market forward. Americans were growing tired of light beers and looking for different types that weren’t readily available in the past.
Craft brewers have seized on this opportunity to create more full-flavored beers in smaller batches, focusing on quality over quantity. For example, there was a drive for hoppy IPA beers that weren’t being produced by the biggest beer companies. Smaller brewers are experimenting with other varieties such as sours, satisfying a niche that wasn’t previously being supplied.
Beers have changed from being made to be consumed cold, to varieties that are best enjoyed at a specific temperature (not always freezing) to bring out the flavors. Certain flavors of beer previously unavailable are now being paired with certain foods, much like wine. For example, fruit beers are advertised as tasting great with cheese and pork.
High-end brewers like the one Anushil Kumar works with are now not only looking at how the beer tastes, but how it looks. In recent past there has been more of an emphasis on color and head.
Independent brewers are seeing beer as more of an art form than a mass-produced commodity. The smaller batches also allow for more limited-edition beers that create more of a “look at what I’m drinking!” appeal.
Craft Brewery Boom
While stats show that the overall consumption of beer in the U.S. is dropping, the craft beer industry continues to rise.
The number of breweries has boomed over the last decade — six times more between 2008 and 2016, to be more precise. And although the growth is slowing down a bit, as of 2018 there were more than 7,300 craft breweries nationwide.
The Great Recession that began in 2007 drove many entrepreneurs to open their own establishments. At the same time, more people are supporting local economies, getting their favorites from breweries in the neighborhood.
The rules around beer distribution are loosening a bit too. Anushil Kumar explains that while home-brewing beer was made legal in the country in 1978, some states are now allowing taprooms to sell directly to the customer.
The Future of Beer
As big beer companies have merged, smaller breweries are starting to buy each other too. But while the business models are changing, so may the beers heading into the future.
For example, you may see cannabis-infused beers more readily available in the market (where it’s legal, of course), with the alcohol removed first. You might also be enjoying beers in different forms, such as fruity slushes served more like a cocktail than a standard pint.
As an expert in innovative strategies, Anushil Kumar is helping to change the beer industry.