Are breweries at risk of disappearing?

Everyone's noticed the beer market declining, but what does that mean for the beloved beverage? Is the beer industry going to change or is it going to be able to stay the same?
Beer taps
Beer taps / David Becker/GettyImages

Going to the brewery used to be what everyone wanted to do all the time. You couldn't make it through a weekend without someone asking you to go grab a craft brew. The fizzy drink has been losing popularity lately. True beer lovers are concerned about why and want to make sure it's not going to affect their beloved time of sitting at the bar with a pint glass in their hand.

The beer industry is not just declining in the sense of small craft breweries, though. The industry as a whole has been in decline. The craft beer industry only showed a 1% decrease in 2022, while the beer market as a whole saw a 5% decrease. Brewery closures increased to 31% in 2023, with some favorite breweries shutting down. With that being said, a lot of breweries have opened up in the last few years, causing the market to reach an unsustainable high.

Some of this decline has definitely been due to the health and wellness movement. Mocktails and other non-alcoholic drinks have taken off, with many people cutting back on their overall drinking. People are realizing the side effects of alcohol, and trying to experience them as infrequently as possible. While some of this decline is due to the increase in mocktails, a bigger part of the decline is that people are simply just drinking something else. A lot of people have changed to drinking liquor drinks, and that's just what's popular right now.

There has been a decline in beer produced for draft, and much more beer coming in cans. A lot of the reason people love to go have a beer at a brewery is the flexibility that draft beer brings. It allows customers to taste more beers, giving them more to talk about with both their bartender and the customer they're sitting next to. What it comes down to is that beer on draft brings a sense of community that beer in a can just can't.

While all of this seems really scary for beer, it's not going anywhere. While the beer market may continue to have a slight overall decline, most of your favorite beers and breweries are here to stay. The beer market had reached a high that was not sustainable, and now it is going through the natural evolution of anything that has become a trend. It's declining slightly, but beer has always been around and will always be around.