Microbrewery boom makes drinking taste and feel even better!

The craft beer and microbrewery industry is in the midst of a revival. The number of small, typically independent breweries, which put the emphasis on quality rather quantity, rose by 8% last year, and now there are over 1,700 in the UK alone. This is in stark contrast to falling beer sales in pubs, clubs and restaurants, which have dropped below those of supermarkets for the first time since industry records began. Here we take a look at what’s fuelled microbreweries’ success; using our 5Drivers model to uncover the emotions they’re tapping into.

#Immersion in a new experience turns a pint into an event

Microbreweries have fast evolved into social spaces rather than being centred solely on production. Tours are now commonplace, taking customers on the journey from brewhouse to pint glass. Dedicated bars allow fans to enjoy the product there and then, and now a night out can mean hopping between breweries rather than traditional pubs. Business is truly booming – in line with a powerful underlying trend towards consumers wanting to immerse themselves in an ‘experience’ rather than simply buy a product. Microbreweries satisfy this urge to try new things and different ways in which to enjoy these. Some even allow you to get involved in the brewing process and take home your own hand-made beer! They also help meet our thirst for feeling like we are learning from our experiences – providing everything from full-blown tours that trace each part of the production process to meeting the often incredibly passionate staff, who take pride in giving advice and impressing with their knowledge. There’s also a strong emphasis on events, where consumers can engage with the brand in a wider experiential context where they are open to fresh ideas.

Sense of #Belonging brewed up by joining with others to back ‘the little guy’

Another strengthening trend, apparent across many sectors, is consumers supporting local, authentic brands that specialise in products that feel truly special and less mass-produced than those of bigger brands. A culture of beer aficionados and celebration of the huge range of distinctive tastes helps make microbreweries a great embodiment of this movement. Supporting these plucky little companies also supplies flagons of feel-good for customers and makes the pleasures of drinking taste even sweeter. The added bonus is the sense of belonging derived from enjoying these products in an environment filled with like-minded individuals who also attach importance to the experience – sometimes even elevating it to an almost ritual status!

Microbreweries do a good job of using social media to cement this sense of connection. In leveraging the visual power of platforms like Instagram, they bring their brand stories vividly to life and reinforce the authenticity of their beers and the passion that lies behind them.

Given their upward trajectory over the last decade and the growing appetite for experiencing new phenomena, we think microbreweries will increasingly challenge conventional pubs and bars, which will have to develop fresh tactics to compete.



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