A few weeks ago I was asked to answer the question, “Where are the new opportunities in the craft beer explosion?” My answer was Europe, and if you want to know why then you can read my response below, but I want to take this time to announce that soon I will leave Annapolis, Maryland and spend the next three years exploring how American craft beer is changing the beer market in Germany, and the rest of Western Europe.
I will miss Annapolis in ways I find difficult to describe, but I know this next adventure will be incredible. Please stick around for craft beer guides to Paris, Berlin, and other great European cities, as well as detailed information on European bicycle brewery tours, how European brewers are holding on to their brewing traditions, and how American brewers are influencing the Old World.
If you want to know why I think Europe holds the future for growth of American craft beer, then please keep reading.
“Where are the new opportunities in the craft beer explosion?”
Answer by The Beer Spy:
If you mean geographically then there are lots of new craft beer opportunities in Europe. The taste for American craft beer is growing exponentially, and there is still a lot of room for new breweries, or for imports from existing American brewers. Everyone talks about the 18% growth of craft beer production in 2013, but you rarely see anyone mention the 36% rise in craft beer exports that same year. It’s not uncommon to drink Flying Dog in Paris, or Sierra Nevada in Stockholm, or an IPA in one of Berlin’s new brewpubs.
The European market is so promising for American craft beer that many popular craft brewers such as Stone, Brooklyn Brewing, 3 Floyds, and others, are either planning a brewery in Europe, or have already started construction.
It’s not just Americans moving in to shake things up though; the locals are also getting in on the action. I had dinner with Sabine and Thomas Weyermann (of Germany’s Weyermann Malting Company) a while back, and they told me that all of the young brewers coming through their malt house, and testing their new malts, mostly want to make American style craft beers.
For all those reasons and more I think Europe is a great opportunity for existing or brand new craft brewers. I’m incredibly excited to spend the next three years seeing how craft beer influences Europe.