I wonder if the bubble will ever burst on the question of the beer bubble? Here we are with the first Friday in October. The first Friday of the month is also known as the Session. The time when beer bloggers get together to talk about a common theme.
This month’s Session is hosted by Derek Harrison of It’s not just the Alcohol Talking. His question is “Is Craft Beer a Bubble?”
This isn’t the first time we talked about this here. Heck, the question comes up every year when the Brewer’s Association releases the craft growth reports. So far every year we have been seeing growth, in the number of new breweries as well as the market share of these breweries.
Something to think about, we have had a housing bubble, and a dot com bubble. In both of these the prices were inflated beyond the value of the product involved. Hell, the dot com bubble had no physical product to back the prices. Comparing the state of beer and brewing to this is apples to oranges. They are not the same thing.
There will always be people who are looking for a quick buck.This is the only thing about the price of beer that is similar to the bubbles we have seen pop in the past. Craft beer is popular right now. The people looking for a quick buck see it as easy money. These are the same people who open a restaurant and think they can make money with little to no effort.
The thing is restaurants close all the time and no one notices. Breweries close all the time and no one really cares. The closings are a statistic. No more no less. This doesn’t make it a bubble. It makes it a normal business day. When people who get into a business for the wrong reasons and don’t learn how to run it as a business, the business will fail.
Ya know, maybe this is the piece I have been missing. Maybe we need to keep questioning the idea of the bubble to keep it all grounded. Sure we will always have the people in it for the quick buck. But for a real business with real products you need people like that. They help to supply a steady stream of capital so the person who isn’t afraid to get there hands dirty, the person who knows that the work is hot and dirty and uncomfortable, can do what needs to be done to give the brewery a shot.
But the thing is, it isn’t a bubble. This is business as normal. I mean seriously, you never hear anything about the restaurant bubble popping. Restaurants pop up faster than breweries everywhere.
Time for a pint…