We have been supplying the UK Brewing Industry for many years but 2013 saw a huge rise in demand from breweries of a different kind. The Craft Beer revolution started with the introduction of Small Brewers' Tax Relief in 2002 and has grown steadily ever since. According to Mintel, 13 Million Brits (25% of the population) said they had consumed Craft Beer over the past six months and the popularity is spreading with supermarkets like Tesco & Morrisons stocking affordable ranges.
What is Craft Beer? The US definition is that a Craft Brewery must be Small, Independent and Traditional. Many UK Beer enthusiasts would disagree with this statement though and would argue it is more about the beer itself than the brewery. In a recent survey of UK Craft Beer drinkers the terms that came up most when asked to describe the drink were: High Quality, Pure, Experimental, Hoppy, Trendy, Young, No Boundaries, Non Corporate. A large part of the appeal is that anyone can have a go at making it. Home breweries can be set up with only a small capital investment required and a basic knowledge.
The explosion of the craft beer market comes at a bad time for the world's biggest breweries as they look to offset declining volume sales with new revenue opportunities. As further investment pours into this category, craft beers will become more prominent in pubs, bars and retail outlets and the challenge for beer marketers will be will be finding a way to stand out from the crowd with so many brands looking to drive word-of-mouth marketing.
If you're looking for hard facts as to the popularity of Craft Beers, look at the Brewdog Share scheme. Their brand and product is so powerful they were able to raise well over £4M for investment in to the business without borrowing or venture capitalists. They created a Share Scheme where anyone can buy a share in the businesses for £95 in return for a loyalty and discount card. The company is not listed on any markets and it's highly unlikely the shares will ever increase in value so why would people "Invest"? According to a number of Brewdog Shareholders it's "knowing that you are supporting an independent brewery who make exceptional beers", "helping to fund the continued growth of the Brewdog range", "Helping rid the world of dull, mass produced commercial beers".
There are now over 1,000 breweries in the UK and these numbers are set to grow throughout 2014. This is great news for us as we have specified and supplied Solenoid Valves, Electric and Pneumatic Actuators and Valves to a large number of breweries. We are able to pull from a wide range of products to design solutions for breweries of all sizes from 1 man in his shed to the well known global brands and everything in between. We feel our experience combined with the team's passion for well made beer make us an excellent partner. We've listed a few of our favourite beers here: