Last year at this time, I made five predictions for the 2007 beer year. Let’s see how I did.
Craft beer growth will hit double digits for 2006 and also will continue to rise through 2007.
My Score: A+ This one wasn’t a stretch, of course, though things will likely be trickier next year.
Price wars among the large domestic producers and the popular import brands will heat up again beginning in spring or early summer.
My Score: B Price wars by the major players did indeed start up again after a short ceasefire, but didn’t begin until late summer, which I continue to believe is bad for the industry and the image of beer as a whole.
Mainstream media attention will increase and will actually begin to improve.
My Score: B While there was certainly some shoddy reporting, overall things did improve for beers’ coverage by the mainstream media, and I’m not just saying that because I started doing some writing for one of the mainstream news outlets. There weren’t nearly as many of the really horrific articles that were so common in 2006. As craft beer regained its cache, good beer again became the story and happily one that’s being told with a bit more accuracy and attention to detail.
A-B’s Here’s to Beer PR campaign will either quietly disappear or if the website remains up will not have any new content added now that Bob Lachky is no longer in charge of the effort.
My Score: C+ While Here’s to Beer has not disappeared, after Bob Lachky was promoted, the website did indeed lie dormant for many months but last March a new version was launched to much fanfare. But when I look now the current edition is only Vol. 3, meaning since March it has only been updated with new content twice in nine months rather than the promised monthly changing content.
Gluten-Free beer made for the growing number of people with Celiac disease will surprise most predictions and become a bigger niche than expected.
My Score: C This wasn’t quite as big as I anticipated, but I understand Red Bridge and the others are holding their own. It’s probably going to remain small but steady.