The Internet and craft beer have grown up together. If you think about it, 20 years ago both were still emerging as pivotal forces in the culture of the United States and the world. So, it is only fitting that beer-related businesses can now register for a new top-level domain designation: .beer.
The launch of .beer by registry operator Minds + Machines is part of a major overhaul of the Internet’s naming structure top-level domains by ICANN, the Internet’s governing body. Over 1,000 new domains will be introduced onto the Internet over the next 18 months providing choice, relevance, and name availability to communities and businesses globally.
Among those who will be jumping on the .beer bandwagon first is Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade association that represents the majority of U.S. breweries. Other .beer web addresses already registered are craft.beer, pumpkinfest.beer and homebrewers.beer. Well-known brewers like Elysian Brewing Company and Bear Republic Brewing Company have also already come on board to welcome the new Internet name.
The public can register their .beer names at http://www.mindsandmachines.com/beer or at any participating domain name registrar. New .beer domain names will start at about $25 a year.
“We are in the middle of the largest transformation of the Internet to date,” said Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Minds + Machines. “New top-level domains have been embraced by the likes of Amazon and Google, and we’re about to see a tipping point where people naturally adopt domain endings that signal a particular interest, location or activity. We believe that everyone who is passionate about beer will adopt .beer as their natural Internet home. We are proud to be working with the Brewers Association and timing the launch of .beer to coincide with their Great American Beer Festival® in Denver, North America’s most famous beer event.”
Brewers Association Director Paul Gatza said, “As the online landscape continues to evolve, the Brewers Association is working on behalf of our members—the country’s small and independent craft brewers—to ensure they have access to robust online representation. We’re pleased to count the BA and some of our members among the first .beer registrants.”
In 2013, craft brewers captured a US market share of 14.3% in retail dollars and a 7.8% share by volume. In the first half of 2014, the sector continued to see double-digit growth with 10.6 million barrels sold in the first six months of the year, an increase of 18% from the first half of 2013.