Does Craft Truly Rule in the Realm of Beer Bars?

The most popular beers overall and at breweries and brewpubs—where craft is king…

We don’t need to tell our BevSpot blog readers that craft beer has become a full-on, heavy-hitting industry in America in recent years.

I can speak to this personally since I’ve been heavily into craft beer for nearly a decade now. In the summer of 2009, my brother and I drove all over Vermont, trying to hit as many breweries on the Vermont Brewery Challenge passport program as we could. (There were fewer of them 8 years ago, and I did manage to score a t-shirt.) This past December, I drove an hour and a half each way to get to Tree House Brewing Co. in Monson, MA to experience a taste of their beer: so sought-after that people stand in line for easily two hours to buy it.

In response to this trend, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at how both mass market and craft beers are selling across our user base.

We collected data from 500 alcohol-purveying establishments, then zeroed in on 22 who specifically market themselves as beer bars, brewpubs, or breweries. (Hereafter in this article, we’ll refer to these specific 22 as “Beer Bars” for clarity/brevity. Aggregate responses from the 500 will be referred to as “Overall Bars”.) These trends cover all of 2016 as well as January and February of 2017.