More than 300 beer industry professionals gathered at Cervantes’ Masterpiece in Denver, Colorado, earlier this month to partake in conversations around the emerging health and wellness segment within beer, as well as the importance of becoming a more diverse and inclusive industry.
Videos of the evening’s two panel discussions are now available for playback on the Brewbound YouTube channel.
The first discussion of the evening focused on the growing number of products hitting the market that cater to health-conscious consumers.
Speaking to attendees, Boochcraft founder Adam Hiner said the uptick in new offerings is coming because “people are really starting to care about what they are consuming.”
Indeed, according to Dogfish Head co-founder Sam Calagione, who shared statistics from research firm Nielsen, 25 percent of all beer drinkers are more interested in finding beers that have wellness in mind compared to two years ago.
There’s also data that suggests more than half of beer drinkers are actively seeking ways to reduce their alcohol intake, Calagione said.
And as more consumers moderate consumption, and purchase products crafted with wellness in mind, Calagione believes there’s a tremendous opportunity.
“Out best data point would be Michelob Ultra,” he said. “At roughly 10 million barrels, that one liquid stream is more than all the beers combined of Boston Beer, Yuengling, Sierra, New Belgium, and Dogfish.
“I think that should tell us all in this room what the prize could be,” he added.
For her part, Sufferfest founder Caitlin Looney Landesberg said discerning consumers in the information age want to know more about what they eat and drink, and that’s led to an increasing desire for more healthful alcoholic beverage products.
“They really want to know where the ingredients in their beer come from,” she said. “They are looking at the back of the label.”
A second panel that examined diversity and inclusion within the brewing industry featured Brewers Association diversity ambassador Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, Founders Brewing diversity and inclusion director Graci Harkema and Bow & Arrow Brewing founder and CEO Shyla Sheppard.
When asked how individuals within the industry could break down their own fears about reaching out to new demographics, Jackson-Beckham asked bluntly: “Is it harder to talk to brown people than it is to put your entire financial livelihood on the line?”
After cheers and laughter from the audience, Harkema replied: “Get over it.”
The panel discussion on diversity and inclusion will also be rebroadcast on the Brewbound Podcast on April 25.