Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Strong Beer growing Stronger

According Euromonitor International, both brewers and regulators are keeping a close eye on the increasing market share of "strong" beers, classified as those having an ABV greater than 6%.

While the article focuses on India, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe, as a Yankee I can definitely report that strong beers are on the rise stateside as well.

While they may never get to the Indian level, where three of the four top beer brands are considered strong beers (one of which is subtly titled "Knock Out," a branding strategy that I'm sure social conservatives in the US would love), the number of "strong" offerings from importers and domestic craft brewers are certainly growing.

The article also mentions consumers drifting towards these strong beers because they believe them to be a better value, a sentiment that I can agree with. With fuel and raw material costs driving up the price of craft beers, strong beers seem to offer a strong craft made flavor, while competing more with the price point of wine (where they look cheap) than the price point of Pabst.

As the American economy continues to swoon, and the price of crude continues to increase, look for American craft brewers and consumers to move their tastes towards stronger beers. Hopefully the Federal government see this as a sign of the times, and not a new stream from which to extract extra tax revenue.

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