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Old 02-07-2013, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default Is homebrewing growing?

I was looking for info but could find none. Is homebrewing a growing thing?

I know I converted a few friends. But I am wondering if we are getting more in than other leaving the hobby.

Any stats exist?

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Old 02-07-2013, 05:29 PM   #2
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Try looking at the AHA site. I think there's like a million of us now.

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Old 02-07-2013, 05:49 PM   #3
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Well the National Hombrewers Conference sold out in something like 2 I would say yes.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:54 PM   #4
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I think it's become more known about in the last few years, with tv shows highlighting the hobby. But I wonder if it's really growing or has it some sort of stasis....not everyone stays in the hobby, there are names from the past that are long gone. Folks who were mainstays that have gone on to other hobbies or just become too busy to brew anymore. I don't know what the attrition rate is.

I know there's been a ton of things that have happened that I'm sure spark the interest, like Whole foods in NY adding homebrew supplies (I wonder how many folks wander in there for groceries and wander out with a kit) or those Brooklyn Beer 1 gallon AG kits.

This is a good topic, I wish there were a way to figure out the attrition rate vs folks coming into the hobby.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:56 PM   #5
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Well I know for a fact it grew by two over the last year or so!
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
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I would have to say it is growing, apart from the fact that homebrewers are friendly, passionate people who are spreading the word, I think it's probably also directly correlated to the rise in craft beer sales. As people learn about new styles and quality beer, they're more interested in where their beer comes from, how it's made, and how they can make their own however they like.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Upthewazzu View Post
Well I know for a fact it grew by two over the last year or so!
And I can count that it grew by at least 3 more than that.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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Define 'growing' More homebrewers? or more homebrew beer? If I brew 5 gallons 1 year and 10 gallons the next did homebrewing grow? I'm going to stick with more brewrs

I suspect it is growing. I heard a beersmith pod cast that suggested such. I think it had one of the guys from MoreBeer who was interviewd. Now how much is it growing? I don't know. Faster than population? maybe, I mean it grows if it goes from 1,000,000 to 1,000,001 but that isn't very fast, and implies saturation.

My evidence of growth however is that there are more LBHS's around. (see opening comment for why this could be off). You need more sales to support the LBHS's, generally that means more brewers. But as Revvy pointed out, some people come in and some people leave. Just look for gear on Craigslist to see that people are leaving.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:07 PM   #9
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I had to take a many-months-long break (5 or so) due to finances, but I'm back at it again finally. I don't consider that "leaving" the hobby because I kept every last brewing item I have, but if I had sold or otherwise gotten rid of my equipment that would be a different story.

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:22 PM   #10
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It might be an easier metric to gauge the growth of homebrewing by the expansion of not only the supply chain, but also the ancillary craft beer boom that has risen since the 1970's. I started brewing in 1991 while I was in college. There were no LHBC's or LHBS's in the entire state where I lived. I had one choice for homebrew ingredients: The US mail and my bacchus and barleycorn catalog. They were one of the first major players in the homebrew world, and they're still around all these years later.

Now, it seems like every major and minor city has at least one LHBS (if not multiple) and many big cities have way more than one LHBC. Ours has two, I think Tampa has three or four, Orlando the same. Then, take a look at how many craft beer breweries have opened up. I think in the late 70's & early 80's, there were two craft beer breweries. Now there are well over 2,700 and the number is expanding.

BMC, which still dominate the market share, are steadily losing ground and are frankly scared sh!tless as to what to do about it. They've been playing strong arm tactics with distributors to prevent craft from taking up shelf space and tap space for years and are fighting a losing battle. They just don't understand the nature of craft beer and how to properly market it. The best they can do is buy up successful breweries in an attempt to survive.

So, yeah homebrewing is helping to change the landscape of beer itself.

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