Why Craft Beer Drives Sales at Your Bar

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Why Craft Beer Drives Sales at Your Bar

The old school big beers, like Budweiser, Coors, and Miller, probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. That being said, if you’re a bar or restaurant owner, you’ve probably noticed that customers have been focusing more on craft beer. In fact, even though overall beer sales were down about two percent over the first six months of 2013, craft beer sales rose an amazing 15%! It’s clear that craft beer can mean huge business and huge sales for your business. But what’s behind this surge in craft beer’s popularity? Let’s take a closer look.

[pullquote]Nationwide, overall beer sales fell two percent over the first six months of 2013, while craft beer sales rose 15%.[/pullquote]

But what exactly is craft beer? In order to be considered craft, a brewery has to be small (fewer than 6 million barrels of beer a year), independent, and traditional. This smallness means that craft beers are much more exclusive than beers from large companies, which attracts many customers who are looking for a special experience. In fact, some craft breweries are extra-exclusive: just look at Hill Farmstead Brewery in Vermont, which produces only 60,000 gallons of beer annually and sells it only at the brewery and about 20 bars in the area.

Although most craft breweries aren’t quite as small or difficult to access, this example taps in to what customers like about craft beer. They’re willing to pay more if it means they have access to something unique. Craft breweries are also more likely to focus on new flavors, ingredients, and customer needs. For example, some craft breweries produce beer for gluten-intolerant customers.

You might be tired of hearing about how Millennials’ preferences drive sales, but once again, the increase in craft beer sales comes back to that sought-after generation. While Baby Boomers and members of the “Greatest Generation” aren’t so interested in craft beer, 49% of Millennials (customers aged 18-32) and 40% of Gen Xers (customers aged 33-48) prefer it. Simply put, craft beer targets Millennials’ needs by focusing on what they care about: exclusivity, unique experiences, and special ingredients.

While you’re still likely selling plenty of beers from the “big names,” craft beer is on the upswing for a reason. It targets a younger customer base by focusing on what they truly want. And, of course, this means that by stocking more craft beer, you can increase your sales.

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