postheadericon Will their be a Merry Christmas for craft beers?

It seems the government shutdown has far reaching consequences, even for craft beers.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the regulators of the brewing industry and its products, is on furlough until Congress can come to some sort of resolution.  So what does that mean?  It means that craft beer makers can’t roll out new products!

These regulators are in charge of approving beer labels and recipes before they can be sold to the public.  No regulators?  No beer.

So as I sit here watching the news, an apparent deal closing in, I think to myself “Hooray!  The brewers are going to be back in business!”  Well not necessarily…

You see it can take well over a month in order to get these labels and recipes approved.  Seeing as how we’re already halfway through October we would be looking at the beginning of December for approvals.  Not counting the time it takes to get the beers to the market or the possible backlog of approvals needed, thus creating an even longer wait!

Now remember I’m only talking about beer label and recipe approvals.  This doesn’t even consider the fact the number of new breweries put on hold due to business loans not being dispersed.

The government shutdown affects everyone and I realize beer is the least of these concerns.  It’s time for a change in Washington on both sides of the spectrum so we can avoid these issues not only for us but for future generations.

postheadericon Is the Craft Beer Bubble Coming?

Short answer?  No.

Long answer?  Depends on how you look at it.

All beginning businesses are hard and the craft beer industry is no different.  It takes guts, skill, money, and a whole lot of luck to get your venture off of the ground.  And it’s going to take more then just good beer to succeed at any degree level.

For many home brewers the question of the craft brewing bubble is one that is overlooked.  Mostly because it’s hard to take a step back and look at your dream objectively.  The good news is that it’s been rising and looks to stay in the rise at least for while.  As of July 21st of 2012 there were a total of 2126 breweries (craft, micro, brewpubs, and large change) in the United States.  That’s about a 10% increase from the previous year and those numbers are still going up.

So what’s that bad news?  A 10% increase every year is huge in any industry and it’s not Craft Brewing Bubbletypically something the can be sustainable for extended periods of time.  Eventually the craft brewing industry will run into a bubble, it’s just a matter of if that bubble is going to burst.

There’s no doubt that consumers are consuming craft beers and starting to shy away a bit from the larger chains.  If I had to guess I would say this trend will continue which leads me to believe that the craft brewing industry isn’t going to have a bubble burst but it will level out to some degree.  Three years down the road it could be 8% increase in new breweries and the year after that 5% for example.

But will the current breweries close in mass amounts?  If I had to guess I would say no.  Rest assured some will do to poor planning, bad location, bad luck,, or any of the number of thing that can happen to any business but I think many of them will be able to stay in business due to the demand.

So what should you do if you want to start your own brewery?  Start hitting the books for starters!  Do your research, do your due diligence, and make sure you get a plan together!

So what do you think?  Is the craft beer bubble going to burst or just level out?

postheadericon A Homebrewing Christmas!

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone and now Christmas is right around the corner.  Our Thanksgiving was a successful one with friends and family and of course tasty homebrew!  This Thanksgiving we had a case of Rye Ale and a 5 liter jug of Pumpkin Ale.  Having 14 people in the house we managed to kill all of it in about 3 hours.  Of course our backup plan of having everyone bring their own beer and having extra craft brews helped!

But that’s not why I’m here today!  I’m here to help you find something nice for the home brewer in your life, whether they’re new homebrewers or old hats at it.

If you’re looking for something to read be sure to check out our homebrewing books page.  We’ve got reviews on books for both rookie and veteran homebrewers that cover topics such as brewing (obviously), hops, yeast, and even cider!

Now if you’re looking for something a little more hands on check out one (or all!) of our sister sites!  Small Home Bar covers items that you might want to have on your home bar if you’re lucky enough to have one.  Partial Mash Brewing is geared towards the new brewers that want to start slow.  There we have reviews of extract and partial mash kits for those that want to move beyond extract brewing.  Lastly at Mini Keg Brands we talk about and review kegging equipment.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from us to all of you homebrewers!

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