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Spirits And Craft Beer: Friend Or Foe?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-05-20      Origin: Site

On the business side of craft beer, there’s the harsh reality that breweries are directly competing against other breweries as well as other alcoholic beverages. Most consumers drink a wide variety of alcohol from beer to wine to hard seltzers to spirits. And that last one, spirits, is often considered the greatest threat to the craft beer world.

Why Are Spirits Such A Threat?

Different people tend to drink different kinds of alcohol for different reasons. And while beer and spirits may not always have a direct link, if you examine the average craft beer drinker then you’ll see some similarities.

For example, those that drink craft beer are seeking higher quality, bolder flavor, and variety. Spirits can offer all of that. But what’s even more compelling is the hobby and collection side.

Craft beer drinkers are often seeking the latest beer or trendy style. They are seeking to taste something new and interesting. Many beers are collected and saved for special occasions. Craft beer fans develop an ability to understand and taste different flavor profiles allowing them to compare beers.

This is nearly identical to the world of spirits, especially whiskey.


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Can Craft Beer And Spirits Be Friends?

Brewers and distillers follow very similar processes and adhere to strict methodology to produce high quality products. This shared passion means they understand and appreciate each other’s craft.

For years, brewers have been using the barrels that spirits are aged in to age their beer. And as we all know, stouts are the most common style being aged in whiskey barrels (especially bourbon). And every once in a while, you’ll find a really unique beer that was aged in barrels from tequila, rum, brandy, etc.

What has often been missed is knowing what brand of alcohol the barrels came from. Many times this is intentional or required based on how they gained access to the barrels. But I think that is a huge opportunity to help bring these worlds together.

By knowing the barrels that were used, the consumer gets to look for those unique flavor qualities that would be found in the spirit. They could even go as far as picking up a bottle of the liquor and enjoy them side by side.

This experience can be elevated when the brewery and distillery work closely together.


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Can Craft Beer And Spirits Been More Than Friends?

While it is easy to see how different alcoholic beverages are competitors (hard seltzer, beer, wine, spirits, etc), the reality is many companies are involved in making a number of these products. This is very obvious in the beer industry as many have begun producing hard seltzer recently. But there is also a movement towards spirits.

Brewing beer and distilling spirits are almost like siblings. There are already many breweries that are also distilleries and there will be lots more in the future.

For many, adding spirits to their portfolio is a wise business decision as it diversifies their brand. This protects them if one sector thrives during a time when the other is unstable. It is a way to future proof their company while also bringing high quality products to their already loyal fans.

And I think you’ll see many more breweries add spirits to their operations. Along with hard seltzers, it is a good fit for their business model and can help ensure longevity for their company.

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