Bar Tending & Beerspectives
by Matt Martinkovic
Brewsearch & Development -
One of the things I enjoy doing is go to a liquor store and walk up and down the rows of craft
beer. I look at bottle after bottle, examining the label, enjoying the artwork, reading about the
contents and the beer's back story.  Many people however don't agree since online sales of
alcoholic beverages in the United States are on the rise, and the industry is expected to
generate $614 million in revenue by the end of this year.

Sales are expected to continue growing over the next five years as consumers who are
too busy to shop in brick-and-mortar stores rely more heavily on making purchases with
their smartphones and tablets.

U.S. sales of beer, wine and liquor have grown at an annual rate of 11.7, percent from
2011 to 2016, according to IBISWorld. This year, revenue is projected to grow 6.5 percent
due to greater consumer demand for craft beer, and an increasing number of online
purchases from aficionados who are seeking out specialty products with limited availability

Experts predict that online alcoholic beverage sales will continue growing at 4.7 percent
annually through 2021, to $772.3 million in revenue. This year, beer accounted for the
largest share — 43.2 percent — of total online alcohol sales, followed by wine
(32.2 percent) and liquor (20.1 percent),

That’s encouraging news for fledgling on-demand booze delivery services like Drizly,
which recently launched a beer, wine and spirits marketplace that allows consumers
to browse retailer inventories and compare prices. However, Drizly, a Boston-based
company founded in 2012, claimed less than one percent of online alcohol sales;
market leader owns 17.9 percent market share.  In New Jersey like me
you can get Drizily to deliver if you live in Hoboken/Jersey City only.

Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Now, which already offers alcohol deliveries in Seattle,
Manhattan and Minneapolis, is considering adding Columbus and Cincinnati to its
delivery footprint.  Sorry, no Amazon delivery in NJ.

So who’s doing all of the buying?  This year, it’s been drinkers in the 30- to 49-year-old age
group, which accounted for 36.9 percent of the industry’s revenue. However, purchases from
18- to 29-year-old millennials are expected to grow in the coming years with some surveys
saying they will be making over 53% of their alcohol purchases online purchase.

In some ways online delivery takes the fun out of the adventure of buying beer and it can't
offer the array of products available in many stores.  However it does have a function, one
that is hard to resist under more than a few circumstances.  All I can say is good luck to them
since anything that can get craft beer to people is a good thing.


Please continue to support my friends at
The  Northside Lounge
Nik's Wunderbar - Whitehouse Station NJ
Matt Martinkovic is not only a recognized beer authority but a well known ecological writer whose
work has appeared in the The American Midland Naturalist (University of Notre Dame) among other
industry publications.  He also has been an agricultural consultant on, of course, the growing of hops.
Order Beer Online
To all my readers and friends, I want to thank you for all your support during my time at Nik's
Wunderbar and at the Northside Lounge.  I'm moving back to the enviromental/ecological field so
the next time you see me at a pub it will likely be on a stool next to you.  I'll continue to write my
column here on BeerNexus giving you my take on what's happening in the beer world with my
insights derived from many years in the industry.  Cheers!