As the demand for craft beer continues to develop within mainstream consumer channels, a host of new retail opportunities are becoming available to craft brewers.
Brewbound.com spoke with representatives from breweries attending the 2012 Great American Beer Festival — many said they are exploring distribution channels beyond traditionally craft-centric on- and off-premise retail accounts like gastropubs and specialty retailers. Here’s an indication of how far things have come: almost every craft brewer we asked indicated that the convenience channel is rapidly becoming one of the most important new growth areas for craft beer sales.
“We’ve never really focused on the c-stores and that is a growing market for craft beer right now,” said Terrapin Beer Company’s founder, John Cochran.
Adam Lambert, the VP of sales for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, said that not only are big box chains like Wal-Mart, Costco, and Sam’s Club are showing increased interest in craft brewing, but also large on-premise chains like California Pizza Kitchen want to expand their craft offerings.
And Rob Widmer, the co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing said that his company is always seeking out new, non-traditional retail outlets that are able to put his brand in front of a new customer base.
“We look for places that see the writing on the wall and are looking for a partner,” he said.
In this video segment, we ask multiple brewery executives to explain a few of the new retail opportunities that presently exist for craft brewers.