Beer Chat -- 7/31/15

Eno Sarris, July 31, 2015

All the craft sales are up! But look at cider sales, holy hell. 


Sales Share Sub-Category Value % Change Volume % Change Avg. Price Indexed to Total Category
Value Volume
100% 100% TTL Beer/FMB/Ciders +3.3 +0.6 100
40.1 44.3 Premium -0.1 -1.0 91
16.0 22.9 Below Premium -2.0 -3.5 70
16.6 12.8 Imports +8.2 +6.3 129
9.9 7.8 Mexican Beer* +12.7 +10.2 127
11.9 7.6 Craft (including domestic specialty beer) +13.8 +10.2 156
6.5 4.5 FMB +5.6 +5.9 145
5.8 4.9 DM Super Premium +1.2 -0.1 117
1.5 0.9 Ciders +43.9 +43.2 158

*Sub-category of Imports. FMB—Flavored malt beverages; TTL—Total
Source: Nielsen Scantrack, 52 weeks ending June 20, 2015

Craft beer's growth might be more impressive because it's not a baby any more, and yet the growth keeps coming. Cider is just starting out, and the boom should recede. 

And it's worth pointing out that the big boys own many of the cider brands, more than they do in craft beer -- even if they are trying to change that. So cider growth has something to do with marketing and big beer money.

But read that link above, and it looks like there's real appeal, especially among the younger crowd. I myself had a nice dry cider at Pitchfork Fest -- unfortunately the cell towers were so jammed that my checkins didn't go through and I have no idea what I was drinking. That's my story at least. The lines at Pitchfork said that people still prefered beer about three thousand to one, but the research says that younger people are likely to reach for it. 

I do wonder, though, and this could be bias showing through -- does cider really have the upside to give you that richness of taste and body that an excellent craft beer can give you? It just seems so sweet. Is there bitter, and soft, and thick, and grassy, and bite, and alcohol, and crisp? Are all those things in there like they are in a great beer? I dunno. 

Have you had one that stacks up with the best beers you've ever had? 

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