On the eve of Zwicklemania, that kicks off the annual micro brew events it has been interesting to look at the list of participants and see how many are missing from last year. The micro brew industry has hit the mature phase in the product life cycle. A big shake out is under way and we saw a lot of closing of breweries and very few openings last year. We also lost two nice beer festivals and most the ones remaining have turn to making profits rather then promoting the micro brew industry. All of this is happening with changes in the market place and the beer community. New competition has happen with the growth of other adults beverages gaining popularity. Cost for a pint of beer has increased as more consumer dollars are having to go to pay rent. The shinny newness of the micro brew has worn off. And the failure of a number of breweries to adapt to changing tastes of consumer. Then there also that this have been going on long enough that some of the early stars are starting to retire. It will be interesting to see what this year brings.
Oregon Historical Society promote that they had a new exhibit on the history of Beer in Portland so I did a little field trip down to see it. They started with the very earliest days of brewing beer in Oregon, went through prohibition, brewery consolidation and flavor neutralizing on to our micro brew renaissances. I could see they were limited to a few display to tell a complex story but I thought they did a nice job in capturing the key high points.
I am a little behind the time but at Christmas my Nephew pointed out to me that you can now get Pub Beer at Safeway. I wonder if this will make it as a new style of beer. Next time I am at a pub I will have to ask if they have Pub Beer on tap.