Strategy Online

Cracking the craft beer category

Tanya Kostiw

Summer is a time for good friends and cold drinks, and craft beer is a popular BYOB choice. But which brew do you buy? In Ontario, craft beer’s share of premium brands has increased to 3% from 1% in 2002, according to 2013 Ontario Craft Brewers data, which puts average retail growth rates at more than 10% yearly. Not long ago, craft brew stood out in the beer category, says Max Valiquette, managing director, strategy, Bensimon Byrne, but now with so many options, it’s harder to do so. Strategy perused the category to discover what’s resonating in the competitive space today and what exactly people are buying into – beer or culture?

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Beer for art’s sake  

With its mandate to blend supporting emerging artists with craft brewing’s creativity, Burlington’s Collective Arts Brewing is slated to release its Series 3 labels in early July, inspired by the work of visual artists, musicians and filmmakers. (The last series featured 75 artists.) Using the app Blippar, consumers can scan the labels to view artwork, play clips or videos and learn about the artists. At press time, Matt Johnson, co-founder, Collective Arts, said downloading the artists’ music through iTunes was in the works for the new series, and in the future, the brand is trying to enable users to buy artwork.

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Collective Arts Brewing