BC Brewing Something Special
A Trend Analysis
Prepared For Tourism British Columbia
Kyle A Moody
Craft beer is specialty beer produced in small quantities in many different tastes and varieties. With no added preservatives and brewed using natural ingredients, quality is the main differing factor from mass-market beer brewed in large quantities. In BC, the craft beer industry has seen incredible growth in the past five years. Sales revenues have doubled, market share has more than doubled, new breweries are opening up all over the Province and established breweries are expanding and upgrading facilities. Restaurants are adopting the trend and switching out import or mass-market beers in favor of locally brewed craft. Several restaurants dedicated to craft beer are now doing brisk business. Beer festivals, specifically the Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria are seeing increased interest. Tickets for the event sold in record time in 2012. Other festivals like HopScotch and Vancouver Craft Beer Week were also major hits in 2012. While the industry is burgeoning within BC, the Province has failed to establish itself as a craft beer destination. With the help of Tourism BC, the industry can be more effectively promoted abroad.
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Conclusion & Recommendations
The term “craft beer” was originally coined as a marketing term, stemming from the word “microbrew” carried no formal definition until it was recently defined and included in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary reading – a specialty beer produced in limited quantities. Typically, craft beer is made in microbreweries, which produce less than 15,000 hectolitres annually (1 hectolitre = 100 litres); however, regional breweries which produce more than 15,000 hectolitres and nanobreweries (brewed in small batches) also produce craft beer. Breweries are classified by production capacity, nanobreweries are smallest and macrobreweries are the largest.
For a long time two breweries, Molson’s and Labatt dominated the beer market BC. But nowadays, as people’s tastes shift from mass-market beers towards the more diverse selection offered in craft beers, microbrewers are claiming more of the market. People are buying more craft beer in liquor stores and more restaurants are serving and pairing the different flavors. These days’ people are more educated about beer and are becoming connoisseurs of quality. According to Iain Hill, brewmaster with the Mark James Group, it is said to be the “second renaissance” of craft beer in BC. The industry that started 15 to 20 years ago has seen a major surge in the last five years (Sherlock, 2012). The recent popularity of craft beer has been met by the over 60 operating breweries in BC, a number that is still on the rise (Sherlock, 2012).Despite operating at full capacity, many breweries are still unable to meet demand, and have had to turn away business. Central City Brewing, located in Surrey, is building a new $20 million facility which will quadruple its annual production and help better meet demand (Wiebe, Boom Times For Craft Beer in BC, 2011). This analysis will highlight the recent growth of the craft beer industry in BC and make recommendations to Tourism British Columbia.
Most of the information was gathered from online news articles and company websites. Both of the articles from BC Business were written by Joe Wiebe, a freelance writer whom has written several articles about craft beer and posted them on his website, www.thirstywriter.com. Joe’s article, Boom Times for Craft Beer in BC, discusses how the craft beer industry is flourishing in Vancouver and the demographic that is supporting the growth. The other article written by Joe Wiebe, Navigating BC’s Ale Trail, focuses on the new breweries that are...
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