BETHLEHEM, Pa., March 22, 2016 — This thing commonly referred to as craft beer is all business these days. Not that it ever was anything less than serious business for Ken Grossman, Jim Koch and Dick Yuengling of Sierra Nevada (brewing since 1980), Boston Beer (brewing Samuel Adams since 1984) and D.G. Yuengling & Son (since 1829), respectively.
These three towering leaders of the beer brewing industry be on the stage at the fifth installment of Meeting Of The Malts to share their take on the current status of the beer industry Thursday in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at the SteelStacks.
But at one time, these three gentlemen were once the small guys on the brewing scene and currently sit atop the growing segment of the beer industry that is now comprises more than 4,000 small and very small brewers. Though the three, either individually or collectively, still are a relatively small percentage of the brewing output of the largest macro brewing organizations in the world, the once small craft brewers are no longer being dismissed as cute upstarts with a questionable future.
The industry, particularly in the U.S., is as dynamic and alive as ever. Questions about the coming years and any potential crossroads for the industry as it continues to grapple with tremendous growth are bound to be raised on Thursday. Questions like:
- Selling to private equity firms.
- Selling to macro brewing conglomerates.
- Opening additional brewing facilities both across the U.S. and abroad.
- Merging among craft brewers.
- Innovating in a crowded industry.
- Selling in a crowded market.
- Maintaining and staying true to a company’s vision.
All of these topics and plenty more are sure to be discussed.
The panel discussion will occur during a five-course meal served with beers from all Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada and Yuengling. The event runs from 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. and sits between two other events — a Pennsylvania Brewpub Festival at 5:30 p.m. and a Prohibition Party that begins at 10:15 p.m. — which should prove for both an educational and fun evening in Bethlehem.
Check back here for a post-event wrap-up.
About the writer: Bryan Kolesar has been on the trail of great beer for over 20 years and writing about it for more than 10. In 2015, his Beer Lovers Mid-Atlantic book was released and in a mere 416 pages covered the diverse beer scene of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Find his book online and in bookstores and follow him on Twitter @BrewLounge.