The on-premise veteran Jon Taffer thinks craft beer is coming up on a bubble.
He tends to be right about these things. Taffer is perhaps best known for his starring role on Spike TV’s Bar Rescue. During his decades in the industry, Taffer has been behind numerous on-premise innovations that improved guest experience and drove revenue — including the NFL Sunday Ticket. Most recently, Taffer and his company partnered with BAR16 at the National Restaurant Association Show.
In a recent interview with Cheers Magazine, a sister publication to Beverage Dynamics, Taffer had this to say about the future of craft beer:
“I find the whole craft-beer craze fascinating. A lot of the core beer brands in America — Budweiser, Coors, etc. — have taken a real hit from it. Some of these brands, they’ve never lost market share in their entire existence. They’re scared by it. So they panic and turn executives over.
Craft beer has created a culture, not a trend. A trend grabs market share and then disappears and gives it back. A culture grabs market share and then keeps it. The craft-beer culture isn’t going anywhere in America.
That said, I think that about 60% of craft beer basically sucks. I’ve been to a lot of the facilities. They’re not exactly clean. They’re rookie-run. The problem is that people are now looking at craft beer as an investment opportunity. They’re getting into it to make money. Many people don’t get into it for the love of making beer. Of course, that’s not how it began. Jim Koch founded Boston Beer because he loves to make beer. But today, it’s much more in the investment space.
That’s why I think there’s going to be a wash out in craft beer over the next two years. Half of the craft breweries are going to disappear. And the word “craft” will become known more for spirits.”
Do you agree with Taffer? Comment below.
Feature photo courtesy of Spike TV.