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SUBMITTED BY Sam Holloway ON Mon, 12/08/2014 - 21:05

Sam Holloway, Ph.D. - Crafting A Strategy

The craft beer industry is currently enjoying a great ride, with a new brewery opening nearly every day in America. As I have traveled the world, meeting brewers and talking with them, consumer preferences are changing everywhere and the demand for quality is growing. All of us craft brewers, no matter our size or production capacity are enjoying a growth market where consumers seem to be willing to pay almost anything for a six-pac of hand crafted, delicious beer. We are all doing great, all for one and one for all against the clear beers, right?


One month ago, before AB/In-Bev acquired Bend, Oregon’s 10-Barrel Brewing, the price of a six pac of their fantastic beer was closer to $7, $8 or $9. Even the large craft breweries are adding capacity, which will ultimately drive down prices. Is your brewery ready for downward price pressure? I didn’t think so…

What are you doing at your brewery to prepare for lower prices? It is easy to ignore strategy when folks don’t blink at paying $5-$6 per pint at your tasting room. It is easy to think you don’t need to work on the business side of brewing when margins are high and your brand community members pack your tasting room because they want to feel connected to something local, something pure. Let me let you in on a little secret – YOU SHOULD BE TERRIFIED OF THAT PRICE FOR A SIX PAC OF CRAFT BEER.

CAS Members, check out our active Forum Topic: Downward Pricing Pressure. Our Guest Expert, Professor of Marketing and ex-AB employee Dr. Peter Whalen has chimed in with “Don’t Panic!”

To the Public, we built CRAFTINGASTRATEGY.COM to help your business survive the tough times and to help ensure this industry is going to be here for a long time. Our member’s only forum currently has the following active topics (these are just a few):

  • Downward Pricing Pressure
  • Production Planning Strategies and Managing Inventory
  • Self-Distribution Across State Lines
  • The Risk vs. Reward of Guest Tap Placements
  • How to Ship Beer Overseas

Our member’s enjoy over ten hours of instruction videos and narrated PowerPoints on business model innovation, leadership, pricing, negotiating with distributors, innovating new products, and controlling costs up and down the supply chain. Every week, we add in two more content pieces based upon what our member’s need and what they ask for. We’ve got an amazing group of business professionals who are learning how to be nimble, passionate businessmen and women. They are working together, bouncing ideas of each other and off our panel of experts. A true community of wise business owners is growing – they just happen to all make craft beer.

What are you doing to prepare your business model for downward price pressure? Until today, you probably didn’t have to do anything but ride the wave of increasing prices and popularity. If you want to survive prices like the ones now being offered by AB/In-Bev for an extremely high quality beer like 10-Barrel’s, you better wake up.

Get started now by visiting our podcast page. The podcasts are free; we want you to run your business with confidence. Listen to them, and then consider the benefits of membership.