What do you think? 2017? I will be fifty-four. An age that still seems impossibly aged. What will US good brewing brewing be like then. That is the question posed by the Rambling Beer Runner for this month's edition of The Session:
Where is it all going? The growth shows no sign of stopping and the biggest problem most breweries have is that they can't brew beer fast enough. But can the market really absorb all these new breweries? Are we headed for a cataclysmic brewing bubble where legions of brewers, their big dreams busted, are left to contemplate selling insurance? Or is brewing reaching a critical mass, only to explode even more intensely in a thermo-nuclear frenzy of fermentation? Now you have a chance to weigh in on these questions. For this month's Session, tell us how many breweries the Brewer's Association will count five years from now in 2017, and why you think it will be that number.
I've been suggesting that we are no only sitting on a correction but at some point a pretty big one. But maybe bot soon. One of the odd things about industries positioned like US craft brewing is positioned is that with the next chunk of greater success comes the risk of a big disruption. They way of beer is not smooth. In the later 1990s, money flowed into US craft beer, people dreamed too big, it got too hot and then it all went KA-Booooommmmmm. Here in Canada, E.P. Taylor famously consolidated regional brewing in the 1930s and '40s into the first MegaCo before he turned his eye elsewhere. It happens. Like that.
Are we nearing something like that? I dunno. I have lived through enough recessions now to know they come out of now where... except for all the insiders who cash out just before the crash. Where will things be in 2017? Who knows?