For the very first time, the 2018 event incorporated a live debate in order to discuss one of the biggest trends and themes in beer over the last decade which was the rise of the craft movement.
In our unique format, two groups shared their thoughts on the highly controversial statement which was:
The word “craft” in the beer industry will disappear within the next 3 years
The team against this statement included Eric Ottaway, CEO, Brooklyn Brewery & Erik Sahlin, Head Brewer, Sahlins brygghus. On the side arguing that this would happen was Dave McCarthy, Former Chief Commercial Officer at Molson Coors.
Eric and Erik argued strongly that the consumer will dictate the future of craft and all indications at the moment are that it is a trend that is resonating and becoming more popular than ever. Dave McCarthy on the other hand argued that we have already seen smaller growth in craft than in previous years and that it was unrealistic to expect retailers to carry on stocking the same amount of craft beer as they currently are.
The vote in the room was overwhelmingly in disagreement that craft will disappear from the industry but nonetheless, it will be very interesting to revisit this debate for 2019 and see if views have shifted!
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