May 13, 2013

King, or Jack of all beers?

According to this highly informative blog, about 93% of America’s beer is produced by 2% of its breweries, and here’s a couple of the best known mega-brands behind those statistics. Trends in the beer market however are strongly in favour of the little guys (microbrewers), who grew 13% in a declining market last year.

To address this trend most of the bigger brewers are launching what are described in the article as ‘Faux Craft‘ beers, with some fascinating implications for design language: mainstream, craft and ‘faux craft’ obey different rules it seems, but what of another interesting category – Super Premium? Two line extensions from Budweiser and Bud Light in this display left me a bit confused, but then I haven’t seen the ads. I’m guessing that Bud Light’s Platinum at 6% alcohol makes sense to a generation of Bud Light drinkers who buy into its values, not just its lightness. And whilst Black Crown looks quite appetising (reminds me of an old Blackthorn cider design), is it really a standard bearer for the ‘King of Beers’?