Known as the growler, those large bottles used by beer drinkers to take microbrews home from the tap, has come to represent a powerful craft-brewing movement that is taking business away from the beer giants, such as Anheuser-Busch. The growler typically holds 64 ounces of beer, and actually dates back to the years before the Prohibition.
Through the years, consumers have propelled trends that range from organic agriculture to small, independent brewers. Although the market share for microbrewers is small, credited for about 6.5 percent of the beer that was produced in the U.S. last year, it is where growth is found in the beer industry. Its volume increased 13 percent during 2011 and 15 percent during 2012. Overall, the beer market is shrinking, from more than 207 million barrels sold in 2008 down to 201 million barrels in 2012.
With the significant increase in the number of breweries and brewpubs having opened in the last few years, the battle is now to get the product in front of the customer. Advertisements are consistently being plastered on TV screens during sporting events and on signs and billboards at sporting events. There are also other things that have come into play in the beer competitions. There have been massive consolidations. The smaller brewers are taking on restrictive laws on growlers, which can vary from state to state. It is hard to put a growler on a store shelf because of the size. The plan has resulted in craft brewers meeting their customers at the source.
A well-defined three-tier structure forms the beer business, producers, distributors and retailers. The Brewers Association said reports show that most Americans now live within 10 miles of a small craft brewer. The independents are asking for adjustments and tweaking to “off-sale” rules so they can get a bigger part of the market. The “off-sale” rules do apply to growlers.
The trend is growing. In New York City, filling a container with craft beer can be done at some drug stores. Some grocers even carry growlers and beer on tap. California is the home of one out of every five craft beers, but a growler has to be bought on site. New legislation has been introduced in California to change those existing laws.
Source : DailyFinance