Beer drinking in the UK is changing and the Beer Market accounts for over £18 billion in the UK , and Craft Beer is less than 2% of this market, and in the words of Dog Fish owner Sam Calagione, "don't get involved in fads but trends".
There is no doubt that Craft Beer is a trend, not just a fad, as it is increasing year on year and one day, we hope it will represent maybe 25% of the total beer market, this is a lot of growth.
In our opinion this growth of the Beer market is by way of Craft beer in Bottles, Cans and Keg. This is not paticularly cask beer, as it is all ready available in almost all pubs in an attempt to satisfy Camra's army of 180,000 members.
Camra can lobby all they want to increase cask beer sales, but it is not new and is probably at it's peak across the UK and has been for a number of years. Cask beer does not travel, does not last, and the market is at saturation, a reason why the very succesful Buxton brewery has stopped putting their great beer into cask, choosing, the alternatives, mentioned above.
We think that many of the small 1,300 micro breweries will follow, or close down, we heard yesterday that a small brewery in the Lake District was closing for this very reason. Most of these breweries, whilst they make great beer, don't have a sales force to sell or deliver their beer.
These breweries produce interesting beer, full of flavour with exciting ingrediants, and are generally hand crafted, what is there not to like ? Beer full of flavour !
The future is obviously exciting Keg beer, which can be delivered from all around the world and enjoyed by the mass beer drinker. We think it is a huge opportunity for beer producers around the UK, the problem for them is distribution and oulets to sell this beer.
I just had to giggle to myself when I say a well know local Camra member liked a local bar with a limited supply of craft beer, and certainly don't support local breweries but publicly fell out with us becuase he does not belive in the Craft beer concept.
At BeerDock, we support local breweries, and 25% of our sales comes from Cheshire Breweries,which means we pay them on time, we are their biggest customer, and we help to support local jobs and the local community and economy. Does it actually get better than this ?
In summary, the beer drinker we want, are the ones that we can help educate, show them new and exciting beers and flavours, help them understand the brewing process, and the variation of ingrediants.We charge the amount that reflects these overall costs and we don't compare oursleves to a pint of Carling, it is like drinking ground coffee to instant coffee.
We keep things simply, no music, no fruit machines, no food, it is all about the beer, our staff know more than any other local pubs about the beers.
We are happy to introduve new beers to new drinkers, some we can't help, but if you have not been to beer dock give us a try and we will introduce you to a whole new world of beer.