The demand for American craft beers is so high that several breweries are planning to build facilities overseas. Perhaps the most visible of these is Stone Brewing Company. The brewery’s European Brewery Project has been the topic of much discussion. But, as the company’s blog says, “…we believe Europe is in the early stages of a brewing revolution.” Which means that, just like America in the 1990’s, Europe is getting tired of fizzy yellow beer and craving more complex, challenging brews that truly represent the artistry that is possible in brewing beer.
Though Canada is the largest export market with an increase of 140 percent in volume, Western Europe showed amazing increases. Sweden and the United Kingdom saw slight declines, but the increase in the rest of Europe accounted for $14.6 million.
Nowhere is the American influence more evident than at Brew Dog brewery. Brew Dog, located in Edinburgh, started in 2007 and is an ode to American-style brewing. Brewer James Watts proudly proclaims that the pioneering spirit of American brewers was what inspired him to start his brewery. Other British breweries like Meantime and Dark Star are not shy about making similar statements either.
But, European markets are not the only places American beers are rising in popularity. The Asia-Pacific region increased substantially as well. The Japanese alone accounted for a 57 percent jump in volume this with increases in China, Hong Kong and emerging markets such as Thailand prove that American beers are going global in a big way. The increase in popularity of American craft beers is a natural outgrowth of the booming beer market in Asia. Many analysts believe that China will continue to dominate the Asian beer market; they also see India as an emerging powerhouse. With a population base the size of these two countries alone, American brews are bound to keep expanding into the markets.
Bob Pease, chief operating officer, Brewers Association said , “The BA is very pleased with the continued growth in exports of American craft beer to markets around the world. Consumers continue to view American craft brewers as leaders in innovation and among the standard bearers for quality. Maintaining that perception is a priority for the craft brewing community.”
On the Stone Brewing Company blog, Jacob McKean sums up what might be the reason behind the surge in popularity of American craft beer in Europe, “…there are Europeans who are excited about breaking the hegemony of fizzy yellow beer by supporting innovative brewers. And that’s enough for us.”
- Innovation the key to keeping the craft beer world fresh (sprbrewcrew.wordpress.com)
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- Rallying around some creative — and very weird — brews (utsandiego.com)