Step Into the Mind of a Craft Beer Consumer

Dear Client:

Want to know how often craft beer consumers are drinking? Or how often they’re hitting up brewpubs and breweries? How about their monthly spend on craft beer? Well, a recent poll from C+R Research has you covered.

The market insights agency recently polled 2,000 Americans between the ages of 21 to 70 to get a better feel for the mindset of the craft beer drinker. Here’s what they uncovered:

HALF THE RESPONDENTS DRINKING CRAFT AT LEAST WEEKLY. When it comes to frequency, C+R found that nearly half of the respondents said they “drink craft beer once a week.” And a little over 40% said they “visit brewpub or brewery once per month.”

These percentages are a little higher if you home in on millennials, with more than half of the demographic cohort (56%) saying they drink craft beer at least once per week. And 43% saying they “visit brewpub or brewery once per month.”

DON’T NEED TO CHECK THE PRICE TAG. The topic of price yielded some interesting data. For example, a little over three-fourths of all respondents (76%) said price does not influence whether they purchase craft beer. In fact, “86% said they would pay more for the craft beer of their preference, even if cheaper options were available.”

AVERAGE MONTHLY SPEND? How much money are we talking? Well, the average monthly spend on craft beer is $59, according to the results. If you break that down by gender, it’s a little higher for males ($66) and a little lower for females ($50). And if you target millennials monthly spend, once again the numbers are a little higher, with the average millennial indicating that they spend $63 on craft beer a month.

PREFERRED SEASON FOR DRINKING CRAFT? The survey also gave way to the preferred season for craft beer. Summer topped the list with half of the respondents pointing to it as their preferred month. And the runner up, believe it or not, was no preference. Nearly a third of the respondents said they don’t have a preference. Fall and winter followed with each season grabbing 7% of the votes, and spring brought up the rear with 5%.

ARE CONSUMERS AWARE OF CRAFT’S SLOWDOWN? Those of us keeping track of trends know that craft has lost a little spring in its step the past few years, but are consumers aware of that?

Maybe not.

The survey says nearly half of the respondents (49%) “believe craft beer’s popularity has increased within [the] last few years.”  Even better news: almost everyone (94%) said they’re “drinking more craft beer now than last year.”

SHINER RELEASES NEW 95-CALORIE VERSION OF RUBY REDBIRD, FOR THE SELTZER CROWD

Gambrinus’ Spoetzl Brewery, maker of top craft brand, Shiner Beer, is revamping its once big summer seasonal, Ruby Redbird, for the seltzer-type crowd.

Ruby Redbird is relaunching in time for summer, but as a slightly different brew: it’s now 95 calories and one gram of sugar, and slated for year-round availability. The company is positioning it as a local, “flavor-packed alternative to your basic vodka soda,” made from juice from the Texas Ruby Redbird grapefruit from the Rio Grande Valley.

We asked marketing director Gregor Mina for more details on the retooling, and projections.

“We revamped the beer to bring the calories down below 100 and refreshed the packaging and it’s been rolling out in the last 8 weeks,” he told CBD.

They think it will play in the hard seltzer space, but with more craft cred.

“We’ve re-positioned it to be more appealing to women who want the attributes of a seltzer (low calorie, carbs) combined with being all-natural, but want to stick with a good, well made craft beer. We think there is lots of headroom on this and as far as we know it’s the only craft beer positioned this way toward female craft beer drinkers.”

Gregor told us that so far, the revamp has “reversed the high double digit declines the brand was suffering last year.” In fact, it’s now their fastest growing beer – “up nearly 50%.”

YARDS RELEASING “FIRST NEW PACKAGED BRAND IN THREE YEARS” – SUMMER CRUSH

Now that Yards Brewing has “settled into” its relatively new 70,000-square-foot space in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood [see CBD 10-20-2017], CEO Trevor Prichett shared with Billy Penn that they’re “spending more time developing beers.”

Indeed, the long time Philly brewery, which turns 25 this year, is gearing up to release its “first new packaged brand in three years,” per report.

The brand? A summer seasonal aptly titled Summer Crush.

The beer, which launches May 1, is described by Billy Penn as a “citrus wheat beer” brewed with “orange and lime zest” that’s both “refreshing and easy to chug.” Or as Yards cofounder Tom Kehoe tells it, Summer Crush is a “crowd pleaser,” the type of “beer you bring down the shore or to your friend’s backyard barbecue.”

Summer Crush, which clocks in at 5% ABV, will initially roll out in bottles and kegs, and will hit 12-pack cans in mid-May. The brew will run through the end of July “or later, if there’s enough demand,” per report.

NEW YEAR-ROUND BREW COMING TOO. Following up on the release of Summer Crush, Yards will have a new year-round beer in store. Details are slim on this particular beer, but Tom told the outlet that the beer will debut in September and will “honor” their 25th anniversary.

Until tomorrow,

Jenn, Jordan, and Harry

“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” – Albert Camus

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