Why Craft Beer is a Winner – By David Callif, CEO, BCM Inks

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BCM Inks CEO, David Callif, at one of the local breweries’ Tap Room

Ever wonder what a craft brewery is and why the beer produced represents such a tremendous niche packaging opportunity?  I did. I particularly wondered what was happening when I noticed two craft breweries opening within a mile of our plant. I decided to do some research and here’s what I found.

Today there are more than 5,500 small breweries in the USA. This is a 400% increase since 1997. ( Source: Forbes 4/25/17). The Brewers Association ( a trade organization similar to the AICC) states that there are plans for another 2,700 USA craft breweries.  According to IRI, a Chicago based market research firm, retail craft beer sales which includes supermarkets, mass market chains, and convenience stores have risen 6% over the past 52 weeks. Craft beer’s market share is nearly 22%, up from 14% in 2013.

The 3 states with the most craft breweries are California with 520, Colorado with 252, and Pennsylvania with 236. (Source USA Today 10/8/17). However, Oregon has the most breweries per capita.This represents a BIG opportunity for any company that is targeting this segment of the beverage industry. The corrugated industry can particularly benefit. Why? All these beers require unique packaging .

Hell's Keep Golden Ale

Award winning craft beer box printed by Wasatch Container with BCM’s inks.

An American craft brewer is traditionally a small, independent, and traditional brewer. (Source: Brewers Association)  This definition is broken down even further as follows:

Small- Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less.
Independent- Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.

Traditional- A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavors derive from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beers.

Every craft brewer has a distinctive flavor and a story behind their beverages. The factors that tie craft brewers together are their passions to use only the highest quality ingredients and attention to detail in the brewing process. Therefore, it’s important that the package represents the uniqueness of the product and helps set them apart from the competition.

The USA market is on the cusp of a further expansion of craft breweries and the number of craft beers. This makes craft beer a winner. Now is the time to target this market segment for increased sales. If you would like to learn more, please contact me dave@bcminks.com. Or 1-800-678-6238.