The increasing number of breweries in the United States is a great indicator that there is still strong growth potential in the industry. But there is also increasingly strong competition. You’ll need to have a great business strategy, effective marketing tactics, and brew some very good beer to increase your brewery’s growth.
What Do the Most Successful Craft Breweries Do?
Some of the most successful craft breweries started very small and were able to grow into major operations over the course of just a few years. Many of them achieved success by embracing what made them different from the major brewing companies: their ability to be flexible and responsive to the market and their customers. They are able to bring in customers by constantly moving in new stock and removing what isn’t working.
Successful breweries can also find unique ways to market to their customers since they know them better than anyone else. They look at what’s working and what isn’t in the local craft scene, and adapt their strategy to capitalize on what they’ve learned. This enables them to build a unique brand identity that encourages customer loyalty.
Will the Craft Brewery Growth Rate Continue?
The craft beer industry still hasn’t reached its pre-pandemic levels, but it has put up strong numbers against its larger competitors. Even though the beer market retracted by about 3% throughout 2022, craft beer’s share of that market grew slightly. After retail sales of craft beer went up about 5%, craft beer now represents nearly a quarter of the United States’ beer market.
The number of breweries in the United States just keeps going up, with more than 9,500 counted in 2022. The growth rate started to slow down in 2018, and it took a hit in 2020, but it appears that it will continue to grow over the next few years.
What Is the Average Brewery Revenue?
The revenue that your brewery should bring in will depend on the size of your business, its location, and how long it's been in operation. It usually takes about three years for a brewery to start generating a profit, but that number is flexible. Your revenue will also depend on how you’re selling craft beer. The profit margins on bottles, cans, and draft beer are much higher than kegs, so that will have a major impact. Because the cost of ingredients is low, you should be able to average about 45% profit margins from the sale of beer. However, some breweries are able to raise that number to more than 90%.
Tips for Running a Brewery
Manage Your Brewery Brand Strategy
Building a unique brand identity will help your brewery stand out from the crowd. If you’re having trouble seeing a way forward, look at what is currently working best about your business. What do people like about it, and how can you play that up? Is it family owned? Does it have a strong local connection? And do people identify a signature beer with your brand?
Develop a Great Brewery Marketing Strategy
Once you have a strong sense of your brand identity, you can put that into action through your marketing strategy. Show your brewery's values and strengths at community events, beer festivals, and farmer’s markets. Create strong merchandise with your logo that plays into your brand identity.
Most of your audience are likely to be Millennials, and increasingly Gen Z, which is why you’re going to need a great online presence as well. Having a strong social media presence, especially on popular food platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and a great website can help you bring in a whole new audience.
Include a Tasting Room
Adding a tasting room will not only bring people into your brewery and drive word-of-mouth about your craft beer, but it can bring in a significant new revenue stream. Selling beer by the glass can quadruple the net revenue of selling by the keg.
Innovate on Your Products
The tasting room is a great place to experiment and see how new products fare amongst your most enthusiastic customers. Creating new beers will keep people coming back to check out what you have, so be sure to embrace trends and seasonal shifts that could produce a new hit. You should also look at perks outside of flavor, such as producing carbon-neutral beer to appeal to environmentally-conscious customers.
Sell Beer to Go
Selling beer to go can open up an entirely new opportunity to bring in revenue. Since the pandemic, many breweries have added CrowlerTM canning machines to their tasting rooms to accommodate to-go sales, and customers love having the option of taking their favorite craft beer to go.
October Can Seamers has high-quality, affordable canning machines that take up little table space and allow you to seal a to-go can within seconds. Our can seamers have proven popular for taprooms because cans are recyclable, they don’t waste beer when filling, and they provide flexibility. Canning beer allows customers to buy a 4-pack of individual 16 oz beers as a sampler instead of one 64 oz growler. This allows you to learn what trends are proving popular and which beer should receive more attention.
Canning for Distribution
One of the best ways to grow your brewery’s revenue is to break into distribution. Canning your beer instead of bottling it provides convenience for your customers who want to buy your beer from supermarkets or liquor stores.
Even more, canning allows you to keep your business more eco-friendly, as aluminum cans are among the easiest materials to recycle.
Add a Can Seamer to Your Brewery
Looking to add a can seamer to your brewery so you can start selling beer to go? Check out our Model 8 seamer to see how easy it is to get started.