Red Hot Home Brewing
There was a 24 % increase in sales of beginner
homebrew equipment kits last year. Beginner
kits were most commonly purchased by
30-39 year olds. For shops that primarily
sell homebrew supplies, gross revenue grew on
average by 10.5 % . Because of this wave
of home brewing popularity there was
considerable growth in new shop openings,
with a record 37 % increase.
With those statistics there should be no surprise
in the fact that sales of beer ingredients
outpaced wine ingredients among home
beverage supply retailers, with an average of
35 % of retail revenue coming from beer
ingredients versus 21% from wine ingredients.
Nearly 60% of home brewers have a household
income of $75,000 per year and nearly
95% shop at 2 or more supply stores eight
to nine times a year.
All You Can Drink - Forever
Would you pay a brewpub $1,000 once, in order to receive free, unlimited beer for
the rest of your life? An informal poll of people here at BeerNexus resulted in a resounding YES!.
Well, this idea is being implemented the Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub in Minneapolis.
Amy Johnson and partners needed $220,000 to start up their business concept.
As is often the case, they found willing investors, but those investors wanted voting shares
in the business. The problem as Ms. Johnson saw it, was that these investors had no
actual experience in the food service industry. Thus, they declined the offer. Ms. Johnson
and partners got an idea. They decided to offer free, lifetime beer to anyone who invested
$1,000. Or, they could choose 0.1 percent nonvoting equity in the company for every
$1,000 invested. For $5,000, investors get 0.5 percent equity and free in-house
beer for life. 46 people chose the first option, 42 picked the second, and 30 took
the third choice. In this manner, the company was able to raise the $220,000 to
open the brewpub. Two years later, Northbound is thriving. The crowd funding investors
are indeed enjoying their free beer, but the amount is not at all harmful to profits.
The pub is currently giving away about 17 house beers a day, recouping some of the
40 -cents-per-beer cost when investors bring friends, order food or sip an after-dinner scotch.
Of course the actual price of beer for life would probably be way more than $1,000 —
the exact number would depend on how much each person drinks on a regular basis,
the kind of beer, and so on. All of which we think Ms. Johnson is lucky the Nexus crew doesn't live
nearby. We do however wish her the best of luck!
the crossroads of the beer world
"Can" Do Beers
From 2012 to 2014, the number of good
craft beers that now come in a can, has
doubled. In fact, more than 500 craft breweries
now can at least some of their beer.
Canning enthusiasts cite some advantages that
cans have over bottles. First, the beer in a can
cools faster. Second, the can protects the beer
from sunlight, which molecularly degrades the
beer (although dark glass serves the same
purpose). Third, beer cans take up less space
and fit together in a cooler with less wasted space
among them. In the big picture, only 3% of
craft beer is canned rather than bottled.
One big downside of canning is that the startup
costs are prohibitive for small brewers. Bottling
in-house is a simpler, cheaper process. Any
savings on canning comes later in the form of less
expensive materials. One solution is mobile
canners who go to small brewers with equipment
and can their beer in a single afternoon.