Facing slowing sales, brewers looking to reach more diverse crowd

Thousands of craft beer brewers across the country have a problem: Sales are slowing, tastes are changing and stiff competition is coming from new directions. Wine and spirits have cut into market share. Cannabis deregulation looms.

Despite a dozen years of growth in the industry, The New York Times reports, some people in the business are wondering aloud if the “post-craft” era is nigh, and some are embracing the opportunity to broaden their appeal. From niche beers to inviting taprooms and branding, the business is formally investing in its cultural diversity as never before.  

There is plenty of room for craft beer to grow outside the demographic of white men ages 21 to 50. Just 31% of women say they drink craft beer “several times a year or more often,” compared with 49%  of men, according to data from Nielsen-Harris on Demand; that’s up from 25% of women in 2015. But even as “craft is doing better with females,” said Bart Watson, the Brewers Association’s chief economist, the category “hasn’t changed its race/ethnicity mix very much.”

Now, many breweries are finding ways to sell beers to underrepresented drinkers respectfully. In Albuquerque, Bow & Arrow Brewing Company caters to Native Americans in the city’s Wells Park neighborhood. “We like to be able to share our passion with other folks like us,” said Shyla Sheppard, who owns the brewery with her partner, Missy Begay. Read the full story.

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