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IPA’s IRL

Twitter trend doesn’t trump sales numbers

Why do IPAs rule the roost.
Why do IPAs rule the roost.

Beer trended on Twitter recently as people debated (or screamed into the void about) the supposed overabundance of IPAs produced by craft breweries. And it’s certainly true that at breweries, bars, and liquor stores around town, you’ll find more varieties of IPA than any other style of beer. But rather than rely on such revelatory tweets as, “Far too many ‘artisanal breweries’ just set a bale of hops on fire and throw it in a vat,” I thought I’d talk to local brewers and look at some actual data on the subject.

Place

Second Chance Beer Co.

15378 Avenue of Science #222, San Diego

“Well, if it’s trending on Twitter, it must be true,” teases Virginia Morrison, co-owner of Second Chance Beer Company. “But, seriously, I do believe fans were bound to demand more creativity and variety from craft breweries beyond a menu full of IPAs,” The question is: are fans, in fact, demanding more variety with their wallets? Morrison continues, “If you follow the numbers, IPA has been the fastest and most consistently growing category for more than a decade. As of 2021, it still was 43% of craft styles in IRI data. However, all good things must come to an end.”

Place

Pure Project

9030 Kenamar Drive #308, San Diego

But that end doesn’t appear to be in sight. Numbers from Nielsen Data covering the 13 weeks ending on April 26 showing that IPAs and Hazy IPAs still make up 43% of all beer sales nationwide —and 53% of all San Diego sales. Winslow Sawyer, co-founder and head brewer at Pure Project, agrees with the data, saying the cause of IPA proliferation is “100% demand. Running a brewery is a business and breweries will make the products people buy the most. Funnily enough, IPAs are also much more expensive and time-consuming to produce, so I’m sure brewery owners would love to sell more of other styles.”

Place

Stone Brewing Co.

1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido

Stone’s long-time brewer and Senior Manager of Innovation and Supply Chain, Jeremy Moynier, credits brewers themselves for getting the IPA ball rolling, “IPA used to be a brewer’s beer, and has evolved all the way to being one of the most popular styles of craft beer.” And while the influence of brewers (and sales numbers) may have pushed IPA to the forefront of tap lists and beer aisles, the predominance of hoppy IPAs has had some real advantages for consumers. According to Moynier, “IPAs have given rise to a myriad of different types of hops being bred, which gives a myriad of different flavors and aromas to explore. Consumers like variety and crave different aromas and flavors, and you can achieve that with this style and through hops.”

The never-ending search for new beer styles continues.

The best things beer fans looking for change can do is purchase the style of beer they would like to see occupy more space at bars and stores. This might mean searching at out shops and pubs, going to breweries in person, or supporting direct-to-consumer efforts such as Stone’s One Batch Dispatch or Pure Project’s Cellar Cyndicate bottle club.

Second Chance’s Morrison concludes by noting the part breweries can play. ”To have a broader range of offerings, craft brewers just need to do what they do best and get creative. And, along with that, breweries must listen to fans — of all sexes, colors, backgrounds, and preferences. I love sours, always have, and I’m finally jumping on the lager, pilsner, and Belgium-style trains. Breweries that make more of those beers — as well as tasty, clear IPAs…still — will get my money. No matter the style, there always will be a demand for well-made craft beer.”

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Why do IPAs rule the roost.
Why do IPAs rule the roost.

Beer trended on Twitter recently as people debated (or screamed into the void about) the supposed overabundance of IPAs produced by craft breweries. And it’s certainly true that at breweries, bars, and liquor stores around town, you’ll find more varieties of IPA than any other style of beer. But rather than rely on such revelatory tweets as, “Far too many ‘artisanal breweries’ just set a bale of hops on fire and throw it in a vat,” I thought I’d talk to local brewers and look at some actual data on the subject.

Place

Second Chance Beer Co.

15378 Avenue of Science #222, San Diego

“Well, if it’s trending on Twitter, it must be true,” teases Virginia Morrison, co-owner of Second Chance Beer Company. “But, seriously, I do believe fans were bound to demand more creativity and variety from craft breweries beyond a menu full of IPAs,” The question is: are fans, in fact, demanding more variety with their wallets? Morrison continues, “If you follow the numbers, IPA has been the fastest and most consistently growing category for more than a decade. As of 2021, it still was 43% of craft styles in IRI data. However, all good things must come to an end.”

Place

Pure Project

9030 Kenamar Drive #308, San Diego

But that end doesn’t appear to be in sight. Numbers from Nielsen Data covering the 13 weeks ending on April 26 showing that IPAs and Hazy IPAs still make up 43% of all beer sales nationwide —and 53% of all San Diego sales. Winslow Sawyer, co-founder and head brewer at Pure Project, agrees with the data, saying the cause of IPA proliferation is “100% demand. Running a brewery is a business and breweries will make the products people buy the most. Funnily enough, IPAs are also much more expensive and time-consuming to produce, so I’m sure brewery owners would love to sell more of other styles.”

Place

Stone Brewing Co.

1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido

Stone’s long-time brewer and Senior Manager of Innovation and Supply Chain, Jeremy Moynier, credits brewers themselves for getting the IPA ball rolling, “IPA used to be a brewer’s beer, and has evolved all the way to being one of the most popular styles of craft beer.” And while the influence of brewers (and sales numbers) may have pushed IPA to the forefront of tap lists and beer aisles, the predominance of hoppy IPAs has had some real advantages for consumers. According to Moynier, “IPAs have given rise to a myriad of different types of hops being bred, which gives a myriad of different flavors and aromas to explore. Consumers like variety and crave different aromas and flavors, and you can achieve that with this style and through hops.”

The never-ending search for new beer styles continues.

The best things beer fans looking for change can do is purchase the style of beer they would like to see occupy more space at bars and stores. This might mean searching at out shops and pubs, going to breweries in person, or supporting direct-to-consumer efforts such as Stone’s One Batch Dispatch or Pure Project’s Cellar Cyndicate bottle club.

Second Chance’s Morrison concludes by noting the part breweries can play. ”To have a broader range of offerings, craft brewers just need to do what they do best and get creative. And, along with that, breweries must listen to fans — of all sexes, colors, backgrounds, and preferences. I love sours, always have, and I’m finally jumping on the lager, pilsner, and Belgium-style trains. Breweries that make more of those beers — as well as tasty, clear IPAs…still — will get my money. No matter the style, there always will be a demand for well-made craft beer.”

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