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Craft Beer Gimmicks & Trends

on 10/06/11 at 8:04 am


As craft beer gets closer to mainstream, it will be a friendly fight for craft brewers to get shelf space at their chosen retailers.  Forget the uphill battle against the macro breweries, with all the bottled and canned beers out there, a beer not only has to have a tasty reputation, it also has to jump out at you, in effort to grab your dollars.  Here is a run down of all the gimmicks and trends I’ve noticed as a craft beer consumer. Some breweries have made these work for them, and some have me feeling a tad cynical. Cheers, Dan

Corked and Caged 750 Ml Bottles – Typically, you will find imported Belgian beers presented in a 750 ml bottle, and it will be sealed with a cork and a wire cage.  It looks far better than a metal crown in most cases, and signifies to the consumer that this beer is being portrayed as something as fancy as wine. In the last few years, companies like Boulevard, Sierra Nevada and Uinta Brewing have gotten in on the fancy corked bottle action. Verdict: The beer on the inside still has to be as premium as the packaging. I have no problem paying an extra few bucks for the aesthetics if it puts the cherry on top of a fantastic beer. If the beer itself is sub par, I feel the brewery should be focusing on that rather than the facade of a premium product.

Waxed 22 oz. Bottles – The midwest juggernauts are notorious for putting a coating of colored wax on the neck of their 22 oz. bottles. 3 Floyds does it for Dark Lord and Behemoth, Surly does it for Darkness and their anniversary beers, even Flossmoor Station has given it a whirl. As a consumer, it signifies this beer is special, possibly rare, collectible, and something you may want to cellar.  Verdict: I love the way it looks, I like that it gives the beer another layer of seal. I think it should be used for special occasions, as it typically is.  Sierra Nevada dipped their Chico Estate into green wax, and it caused an uproar, with the line of thinking that the beer could have been priced better without the wax treatment. We found out it wasn’t the case, but that was the taste left in the consumers mouth.

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