In The Market For A Light Craft Beer?

I think it's natural to assume that there would be a big market for these types of beers, but I think upon closer inspection that may not be the case.

First, consider that most people who now drink craft beer may once have been light beer drinkers who migrated away from that style because they're looking for more flavor and more interesting beer styles.

They're no longer interested in regularly drinking light beer to begin with. Berliner Weiss is usually 3.5ish ABV

Second, consider the economic side.

A craft brewer, if they make an American light lager, will never be able to compete against the likes of AB and MillerCoors on price. There are some very low ABV craft beers, but you don't see them much. I doubt craft aficionados want to pay craft prices for a low ABV beer on the regular.

Their comparable beer is going to be far more expensive, and difficult to convince drinkers they should spend more on that type of beer. Drinkers have been conditioned that they will pay more for say, an IPA, but light lager? We simply expect that to be cheap, when in reality it wouldn't be that much cheaper for a craft brewer to make. Sure, there are less hops/malt, but actual ingredient costs are a very small portion of the total cost of making a beer.

So in the end, even if craft brewers did make more light lager-type beers, I'm not sure there would be a very big market for it. Light beers have lesser sugars to start with, so while you get lesser calories in the end, this also means there's less fermented end products to flavor the beer.

They're essentially mutually exclusive. It's the same as expecting all fine dining restaurants to offer healthy alternatives to their menu. That's not why or how they designed their menu.

There really isn't a strong enough market for small, independent brewers to spend money on testing, manufacturing, and distributing a light beer, which most craft-fans wouldn't be interested in.

Barcelona Craft Beer

We were in Europe recenlty on a country hoop tour and I got the chance to test what Barcelona had to offer. We hit quite a few of the craft beer spots.

Here's where we went and what we thought:

  • Biercab (In Eixample): Great craft beer bar with a large tap list. I want to say 20-30 beers on tap. Lots of local/Spanish breweries. Try the cod balls and octopus!
  • Garage Brewing: Awesome brewpub with a lot of variation in styles. Some of the best beer we had in Spain Bonus for this. There's an awesome little bar in the Gothic quarter the serves Garage beer called Carlos and Matildas. I'd highly recommend sitting out on the Terrace, having a pint and enjoying the atmosphere.
  • BlackLab (Barcelona – near the Aquarium): Decent beers and ok food, close to the downtown area
  • Naparbier (Eixample): Cool bar/restaurant with a kind of biker theme… Some pretty high quality food and solid beers… Bit expensive for food
  • Barcelona Beer Company (Raval): Ok beer, ok food.
  • Chivuo's (Gracia): Cool little place off the beaten track a bit.. Stumbled upon it on our walk up to Parc Guell. They brew a few of their own beers and have others on tap. Good food as well.

We also hit Brewdog and Mikkeller.

Both of which are cool bars but not local breweries. Another place I'd mention is Caravelle in Raval. It's more of a little restaurant but they brew a few house beers themselves as well. Awesome food (tacos!) and vibe. Happy drinking and enjoy Barcelona!

I actually found a beer guide of Barcelona after we left. Which only makes me want to vist again sometime. This time though I would like to make it the primary vacation destination. Though I think that it will take a while. The kids are crying to go to Flordia. I am sure you can guess why.

For not I will just have to dream.

Here are my notes for next time:

  • Lambicus, best Belgian Bottle shop.
  • Roses i Torrades, Bottle shop.
  • 2D2Dspuma, Bottle shop.
  • BierCaB, best bar in Spain.
  • NaparBCN, best beerpub in Spain.

Always with limited collaborations between famous brewers.

Breweries and beers you must taste from Spain: La Calavera: "medical stout", "batard chardonnay" Montseny: any variants of "Mala Vida" Guineu: "Montserrat", "Black Velvet" and others Naparbier: "Back in Black", and any other. La Quince: "SweetDreams", "Horny Pilsner", and any other. Dougalls: "Session Stout", and others Laugar: "Aupa Tovarisch", and others. Reptilian: "Apokalypse", and others. Ales Agullons: There are blended with lambic Cantillon. Yria: any beer.

It’s a Craft Country

Unfortunatley, in America mediocrity and sameness is the norm.

Afterall, fast food is by faaaar the best selling food in our nation – and Walmart is the nations largest employer. Beer is no exception.

American corporate lagers is made with one thing in mind – drinkability. And what is more drinkable than cold water? They use corn and rice to produce a substantial amount of the alcohol in their beer because it does so without adding any taste. But that leaves the beer tasting grainy/grassy – to compensate for that, they encourage you to drink beer as close to freezing as possible.

Ever drink a commercial beer lukewarm?

Craft beer is made with one thing in mind – taste and a fierce devotion to quality. And because of that, it actually taste better as it warms a little. Usually around 48 degrees…which is good and cool, not ice cold.

There are hundreds of varities and choices in the craft beer world. Unlike the corporate yellow fizzy stuff – where you would do very well to tell any difference at all. So your choice is to stand in line and be told what you like by a savvy marketing firm – or choose for yourself and drink what you like.

My suggestion it to test, taste the various styles and expand your palate.

With such variety and selections now available to many beer drinkers, I am sure you will find you "beer zone". I know my taste have changed over the years. There is no one beer for every situation. Time of year, food pairing, and alcohol content help determine the proper beer for the right situation. Also remember just because you do not like the beer, does not mean that it is bad beer.

Try and appreciate what the brew was trying to do.

A Wide Range

Not everyone likes craft. If you want all of your beer drinking guests to be happy you should at least have one light beer on tap. Unless for some reason every person you invited to your wedding is a craft beer enthusiast, you're probably going to have some disappointed guests and people grumbling to themselves about it.

Still, just because someone buys and drinks light lager doesn't mean they will turn their noses up at a craft brewed pils or lager. Honestly, though if anyone did grumble about that I'd probably consider them rude, it's not their wedding celebration and it doesn't have to cater to their taste for something they can buy at pretty much any convenience store.

Most people who just drink light beer aren't interested in venturing further into other types of beer.

It is no way rooted in fact, and my own anecdotal experience points to most craft beer drinkers starting off in the same boat, buying 30 racks of light beer because it's cheap and familiar. I'd branched out to "premium" brands and been dissapointed at the price/quality ratio compared to Bud.

When I talk to people who drink Bud Light every day, it's more of a "business" decision, rather than any other preference.

The key to a good wedding is variety and the realization that not everything the guest will be drinking will be something you enjoy.

Have a good bar with a variety of spirits, as well as a variety of white and red wines. As for beer itself – the OP talked about Sierra Nevada, and they honestly run the gauntlet in the types of beers they make from delicious stouts to Oktoberfest styles and yea, they do hoppy. But they also do stuff like witbier and Blondes.

So give people options, at least two. Have several craf beers on hand and then a light option.

My reasoning is that personally, most of the people attending a wedding that don't drink craft beer are older male relatives that also would never be caught dead with a light beer.

But you also want to have a lower-calorie option for sessioning. Which brings up a good point- instead of Bud Light, why not do a "session beer" like SN Nooner, Notch Session Pils, or Full Sail Session Lager.

This is just what would work best for my group, but you know your guests the best. What I plan on doing is going down the entire guest list and asking myself "Will there be something this person will be satisfied drinking?" It doesn't have to be their favorite drink, but the last thing I want is someone sober and salty that there's nothing for them to drink.