Craft beer is at a “precipice.” Colorado can relate after Boulder Beer closure and New Belgium sale
A beer festival, by its nature, is festive. And the 20th edition of the Big Beers festival that attracted many of the nation’s best brewers to Breckenridge was no exception.
This year, however, the mood seemed less merry.
In between sips of barrel-aged stouts, blended sours and boozy barleywines, the conversation at the marquee event — which features educational seminars and tasting session focused on higher-alcohol beers, Belgian styles or experimental brews — all-to-often veered toward the current challenges facing the craft beer industry.
A panel discussion about the “future of craft beer” sounded worse than a hangover as brewers discussed the flat beer market, increased competition and shifting consumer attitudes.
“I feel like we are losing something,” Paul Arney, the owner and brewer at The Ale Apothecary in Oregon, told me after the session. “It feels like we are at a precipice.”
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