Overall the Pandemic has significantly wounded the beer industry with several factors coming into play. First, and most obvious, is the reduced opportunity for on-premise sales. During the pandemic on-premise sales dropped nearly in half, bad news for draft only breweries\brewpubs. This drop was reflected in the loss of nearly 100,000 on-premise venues which were driven out of business. That figure includes both restaurants and bars. Yet another factor was the reduction of both corporate and leisure travel, resulting in even more lost revenue.
Adding to the hit on beer sales was the growing popularity of alcoholic seltzers, a segment which posted gains at the expense of beer. An impact harder to gage is the possible long-range acceptance of in-home entertaining, which is yet to be seen. One research group however, IWRS, identified what can be categorized as either a reluctance to return to bars and restaurants or an increased comfort level within the home as yet another detriment to beer’s post pandemic recovery.
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Copyright Gregg Smith – His latest book “American Beer History” is available on Amazon