Breweries — craft breweries in particular — are having a moment right now.
In early July, The New York Times published a piece on “America’s Craft Beer Diplomacy,” warranting an opinion piece on the topic of craft beer. And even though as recently as 2012, Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors controlled almost 90 percent of beer production in the United States, between 2008 and 2016, the number of breweries actually expanded by a factor of six, with the number of brewery workers growing by 120 percent. That’s pretty remarkable.
The number of breweries in the U.S. and the number of people working in the brewery industry in the States has clearly grown by an impressive amount. And the story of the craft brewery boom is really not that different for the country’s northern cousin, Canada.
According to The Conversation, sales of craft beer have risen tenfold in the past decade in Canada, and it now accounts for six percent of the beer market. Current production of around 20 million hectolitres of beer in Canada is reportedly close to levels seen back in 1985, but more breweries are making the beer than ever before.
Of course, none of this is a surprise to the people who have decided to try their hand at craft brewing in Canada. Jonathon Karelse, for instance, is a partner at NorthFind Partners and is also a proud Director and Partner at one of Coquitlam’s first craft breweries, Mariner Brewing Company. Entrepreneurs like Jonathon Karelse know it’s the perfect time to launch such a venture, when the craft brewery iron is hot.
The truth is, places like Coquitlam, which didn’t previously have anything like Mariner, are ripe for breweries to open and serve the public. Demand for independent, craft breweries is obviously high, and people would rather support such ventures in their own neighborhoods if they have the option to.
Independent breweries aren’t out to be the next Molson Canadian or Moosehead. But that’s not really what craft brewing is about. People are attracted to the local, unique taste of craft beer brewed by small breweries. And since they’re clearly more popular than ever, it’s really the best time for any brewery founder hopeful to get in on the craft brew game.