Jim Koch wrote an excellent op-ed in the NYT published online yesterday: Is It Last Call for Craft Beer? We note in passing another article: America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever.
What is happening?
In the latter case, Amazon alone accounts for 53% of online retail growth. So all other retailers moving online (having apparently finally gotten the message) account for only 47% of the growth.
The main damage being taken is in the class B and C malls ... our own Irving Mall - once thriving - is in obvious decline. Note that class A malls are surviving. The key appears to be: "The key is creating the right experience, whether it’s online or off."
Craft breweries are being bought (some would say co-opted) by behemoth beer. This is a natural consequence of eating into MilCooBud's market (our 6% growth last year in a static beer market came at the expense of MilCooBud).
How to survive?
Well, the key is creating the right experience ... your taproom is an extension and reflection of your customer base. MilCooBud will never have that direct 1-to-1 relationship with their customers that you have.
They will never have your agility nor your creativity.