In the wake of the global pandemic, the craft beer industry—like many others—has faced unprecedented challenges. Fortunately, as the world begins to recover and global restrictions dissipate, there is a growing sense of optimism and excitement within the industry. Craft beer and taprooms are experiencing a strong resurgence in popularity, serving as beacons of community, conversation, creativity, and flavor. In this piece, The Session explores the main factors behind the resurgence, shares exciting statistics, and highlights a few successful taprooms that have thrived in the new age.
As all our readers can attest, craft beer has always been about more than just the liquid in the glass. Craft beer has always been the vehicle driving us to experience unique flavors with others, sharing a sense of community at the bar. Taprooms, the heart of the craft beer movement, serve as ideal gathering places where people come together to share stories, connect with friends and strangers alike, and immerse themselves in the vibrant craft culture. According to the Brewers Association, there has been a double digit percentage rebound in craft beer sales over the last two years, with a significant amount coming from on-premise sales.
One fantastic success story coming out of the pandemic belongs to Tree House Brewing Company out of Massachusetts. By focusing on online order pickups, the brewery was able to continue selling its sought-after hazy IPAs to its many dedicated customers. Further, they expanded their seating options to include outdoor seats (allowing for social distancing measures!). Their commitment to providing quality options and service during the pandemic has led to strong support from the brew community.
Another example is Brouwerij West Brewery, located in Los Angeles. The trouble from the pandemic forced adaptation, leading the once calm brewery to transform into a vibrant beer garden, boasting great live music and art. The taproom offers its patrons a multifaceted experience, combining art, music, and—most importantly—really tasty craft beer! Their efforts during difficult times to keep their customers happy have grown into a reinvigorated craft beer community.
Thanks to the love of belonging and sense of community shared across craft beer drinkers, taprooms that embrace this feeling are doing better than ever. While the pandemic certainly made it challenging, there are countless success stories of breweries that leaned on their community to stay optimistic and to succeed. The Session writers hope to see our readers enjoying their local taprooms sometime soon, where we can all share some stories, smiles, and delicious beer.