Blog: A Caution for Craft Beers

All that glitters is not gold, and other truisms for a burgeoning category

By 
Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

Fluid Thoughts blog

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- I heard a radio commercial for a Chicago-area restaurant the other day. After waxing on about the great food specials for most of the ad, the voiceover woman added in the final seconds, "We even have our own craft beer," before mentioning the location one final time.

It didn't matter what the beer was called. Didn't matter if there were seven varieties or just one. No mention of quality or brewing experience!

Here is where the craft-beer industry needs to watch its back. Yes, as we stand today, many consumers are invested in trying as many varieties of beer as they can get their hands on, and the simple mention of a beer being "craft" can sell it.

Stout? Great!

Lager? Love it!

Seasoned with tobasco? Bring it on!

But the idea that every beer made in small batches and dubbed "craft" is automatically delicious--and worth a premium price--cannot stand forever. Consumers get wise when they feel they didn't get their money's worth, and those beers--or any product--that are literally hard to swallow won't make it on the shopping list a second time.

For today, "buyer beware" is probably the best truism. For tomorrow, it may be: "Fool me once, shame on you," ... and there won't be an opportunity to fool me a second time.

Steve Holtz,who writes the Fluid Thoughts blog, is the online news director and beverage editor for Winsight Media. He has been covering the convenience-store industry and the beverage category for more than a decade. Contact him at [email protected].

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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