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    為謀生路,精釀啤酒業顛覆商業模式

    為謀生路,精釀啤酒業顛覆商業模式

    Chris Morris 2020年10月21日
    對很多啤酒企業而言,眼下正是生死存亡之秋,是它們正真需要幫助的時候。
    ?
    ?

    圖片來源:COURTESY OF ALE ASYLUM

    在新冠疫情爆發前,精釀啤酒行業呈爆發式增長的好日子便已經劃上句號,不過小型獨立釀酒企業的數量仍然在逐年增加,而且當時沒有任何跡象顯示這種趨勢將會出現重大調整。然而,待到春季,小型釀酒企業過多的情況可能會造成毀滅性后果。

    啤酒協會(Brewers Association)的首席經濟學家巴特?沃森表示,在居家辦公期間,雖然有很多人會通過Zoom與親友同事聚會玩樂,白天暢飲也是常事,但今年迄今為止,啤酒銷售總額并未出現太大變化,加上酒吧大門緊鎖、餐館鮮啤銷售陷于停滯,為了“活下去”,小型啤酒企業不得不調整自己的商業模式。

    許多啤酒企業提升了外帶啤酒的產能,也有少數企業已經能夠為客戶提供送貨上門服務,不過黑云壓城之際,市場需求下跌或許只是時間問題。

    沃森說:"新冠疫情沖擊小型釀酒企業時恰逢一年之中的銷售旺季,釀酒企業要靠這段時間賺的錢來撐過淡季,現在這些企業可能還撐得下去,不過還得看冬季的情況……碰到這種事,企業肯定會出現現金儲備減少、財務受損的問題,因此我認為,未來6到12個月,釀酒企業的倒閉率可能會上升?!?/p>

    Ale Asylum位于麥迪遜,其聯合創始人奧托?迪爾巴稱,雖然公司自營啤酒餐廳的露臺很大,重新開放后生意也很不錯,而且公司推出的“Fvck Covid”啤酒備受追捧,一經推出便迅速售罄,但今年到目前為止,公司的業務仍然下降了40%之多。

    為了降低病毒傳播的幾率,Ale Asylum的室內餐廳目前仍然處于關閉狀態。而隨著冬季的到來,重啟室內餐廳更加無望。這就帶來了另一個問題。

    迪爾巴說:“由于我們同時也生產啤酒,如果要隔離14天,我們的生意就完了?!?

    Ale Asylum現在的業務亮點無疑是Fvck Covid,這種比爾森啤酒(和Fvck Covid 2.0朦朧IPA)不僅在該公司的自營餐廳及威斯康星州、伊利諾伊州等傳統市場廣受歡迎,還在另外12個州贏得了市場的歡心。該公司隨后還將推出Apocalypse Bingo系列啤酒與Fvck Covid一同銷售,Murder Hornet Pale Ale將作為該系列的首款產品率先上市。

    雖然多數啤酒企業已經用罐裝啤酒取代了生啤和酒吧業務,但對沒有自營裝罐生產線的小型啤酒企業而言,這無疑是一個新的挑戰。移動罐裝企業近來業務非常繁忙,很難抽出時間開展啤酒裝罐業務,即便雙方可以展開合作,裝罐啤酒也會進一步削減啤酒企業的利潤。

    而即將出現的易拉罐短缺問題或許更為令人擔心。全球最大的鋁罐制造商——BallCorp.公司上月告訴投資者,北美易拉罐的年需求量已經從80億增長至100億,而該公司目前正在設法跟上這種需求的增長。

    沃森表示:"易拉罐短缺降低了部分啤酒企業調整業務的能力。有些企業在重新套印出現錯印的易拉罐,有些則在考慮銷售瓶裝啤酒,不過市場上沒有那么多提供裝瓶服務的公司……現在真沒有什么好的解決辦法。除非可以提升裝罐能力,否則這個問題無法解決?!?/p>

    雖然許多啤酒企業的直銷銷量大幅增長,但其擴大分銷渠道、補充收入來源的努力尚未取得太大進展。而與啤酒經銷商合作往往意味著長遠的影響,因此也不會一蹴而就。不過也有啤酒企業正在通過與啤酒運輸服務公司Tavour合作來繞開這一障礙。

    今年到目前為止,已經有90家啤酒企業與Tavour建立了合作關系,而啤酒愛好者們也用自己的方式做出了回應——自3月以來,該公司的業務已經增長了兩倍之多。

    WeldWerks的聯合創始人兼首席釀酒師尼爾?費舍爾說:“對許多產能過剩的啤酒企業而言,Tavour一直是它們最棒的合作伙伴?!盬eldWerks是一家位于科羅拉多州格里利的釀酒公司。

    自3月以來,該公司的銷售額持續增長,員工人數也增加了33%,可以說是本次疫情中的幸運兒之一。

    費舍爾表示:"我們非常幸運,絕對屬于少數派。我們恰好擁有許多合適的商業模式,能夠迅速做出調整,適應新的市場環境。因為公司規模不大,所以不需要提前18個月對業務進行預測和規劃,也就不會有太多靜態摩擦,不過我們又不算太小,所以也可以擁有自營裝罐生產線這樣的資產,還能夠拿到需要的易拉罐?!?/p>

    不過,Weldwerks確實屬于個案。據啤酒研究會(Beer Institute)、啤酒協會、全美啤酒批發商協會(National Beer Wholesalers Association)和美國飲料批發商協會(American Beverage Licensees)的聯合研究估計,受疫情影響,美國的啤酒零售額將下降220多億美元,并且在今年年底前啤酒行業將失去超過651000個與之相關的工作崗位。

    據得克薩斯州工藝釀酒商協會(Texas Craft Brewers Guild.)的一項調查顯示,得克薩斯州多達三分之二的地方性精釀啤酒企業可能被迫在2021年年底永久關閉。

    迪爾巴說:“對很多啤酒企業而言,眼下正是生死存亡之秋,是它們正真需要幫助的時候?!保ㄘ敻恢形木W)

    譯者:梁宇

    審校:夏林

    在新冠疫情爆發前,精釀啤酒行業呈爆發式增長的好日子便已經劃上句號,不過小型獨立釀酒企業的數量仍然在逐年增加,而且當時沒有任何跡象顯示這種趨勢將會出現重大調整。然而,待到春季,小型釀酒企業過多的情況可能會造成毀滅性后果。

    啤酒協會(Brewers Association)的首席經濟學家巴特?沃森表示,在居家辦公期間,雖然有很多人會通過Zoom與親友同事聚會玩樂,白天暢飲也是常事,但今年迄今為止,啤酒銷售總額并未出現太大變化,加上酒吧大門緊鎖、餐館鮮啤銷售陷于停滯,為了“活下去”,小型啤酒企業不得不調整自己的商業模式。

    許多啤酒企業提升了外帶啤酒的產能,也有少數企業已經能夠為客戶提供送貨上門服務,不過黑云壓城之際,市場需求下跌或許只是時間問題。

    沃森說:"新冠疫情沖擊小型釀酒企業時恰逢一年之中的銷售旺季,釀酒企業要靠這段時間賺的錢來撐過淡季,現在這些企業可能還撐得下去,不過還得看冬季的情況……碰到這種事,企業肯定會出現現金儲備減少、財務受損的問題,因此我認為,未來6到12個月,釀酒企業的倒閉率可能會上升?!?/p>

    Ale Asylum位于麥迪遜,其聯合創始人奧托?迪爾巴稱,雖然公司自營啤酒餐廳的露臺很大,重新開放后生意也很不錯,而且公司推出的“Fvck Covid”啤酒備受追捧,一經推出便迅速售罄,但今年到目前為止,公司的業務仍然下降了40%之多。

    為了降低病毒傳播的幾率,Ale Asylum的室內餐廳目前仍然處于關閉狀態。而隨著冬季的到來,重啟室內餐廳更加無望。這就帶來了另一個問題。

    迪爾巴說:“由于我們同時也生產啤酒,如果要隔離14天,我們的生意就完了?!?

    Ale Asylum現在的業務亮點無疑是Fvck Covid,這種比爾森啤酒(和Fvck Covid 2.0朦朧IPA)不僅在該公司的自營餐廳及威斯康星州、伊利諾伊州等傳統市場廣受歡迎,還在另外12個州贏得了市場的歡心。該公司隨后還將推出Apocalypse Bingo系列啤酒與Fvck Covid一同銷售,Murder Hornet Pale Ale將作為該系列的首款產品率先上市。

    雖然多數啤酒企業已經用罐裝啤酒取代了生啤和酒吧業務,但對沒有自營裝罐生產線的小型啤酒企業而言,這無疑是一個新的挑戰。移動罐裝企業近來業務非常繁忙,很難抽出時間開展啤酒裝罐業務,即便雙方可以展開合作,裝罐啤酒也會進一步削減啤酒企業的利潤。

    而即將出現的易拉罐短缺問題或許更為令人擔心。全球最大的鋁罐制造商——BallCorp.公司上月告訴投資者,北美易拉罐的年需求量已經從80億增長至100億,而該公司目前正在設法跟上這種需求的增長。

    沃森表示:"易拉罐短缺降低了部分啤酒企業調整業務的能力。有些企業在重新套印出現錯印的易拉罐,有些則在考慮銷售瓶裝啤酒,不過市場上沒有那么多提供裝瓶服務的公司……現在真沒有什么好的解決辦法。除非可以提升裝罐能力,否則這個問題無法解決?!?/p>

    雖然許多啤酒企業的直銷銷量大幅增長,但其擴大分銷渠道、補充收入來源的努力尚未取得太大進展。而與啤酒經銷商合作往往意味著長遠的影響,因此也不會一蹴而就。不過也有啤酒企業正在通過與啤酒運輸服務公司Tavour合作來繞開這一障礙。

    今年到目前為止,已經有90家啤酒企業與Tavour建立了合作關系,而啤酒愛好者們也用自己的方式做出了回應——自3月以來,該公司的業務已經增長了兩倍之多。

    WeldWerks的聯合創始人兼首席釀酒師尼爾?費舍爾說:“對許多產能過剩的啤酒企業而言,Tavour一直是它們最棒的合作伙伴?!盬eldWerks是一家位于科羅拉多州格里利的釀酒公司。

    自3月以來,該公司的銷售額持續增長,員工人數也增加了33%,可以說是本次疫情中的幸運兒之一。

    費舍爾表示:"我們非常幸運,絕對屬于少數派。我們恰好擁有許多合適的商業模式,能夠迅速做出調整,適應新的市場環境。因為公司規模不大,所以不需要提前18個月對業務進行預測和規劃,也就不會有太多靜態摩擦,不過我們又不算太小,所以也可以擁有自營裝罐生產線這樣的資產,還能夠拿到需要的易拉罐?!?/p>

    不過,Weldwerks確實屬于個案。據啤酒研究會(Beer Institute)、啤酒協會、全美啤酒批發商協會(National Beer Wholesalers Association)和美國飲料批發商協會(American Beverage Licensees)的聯合研究估計,受疫情影響,美國的啤酒零售額將下降220多億美元,并且在今年年底前啤酒行業將失去超過651000個與之相關的工作崗位。

    據得克薩斯州工藝釀酒商協會(Texas Craft Brewers Guild.)的一項調查顯示,得克薩斯州多達三分之二的地方性精釀啤酒企業可能被迫在2021年年底永久關閉。

    迪爾巴說:“對很多啤酒企業而言,眼下正是生死存亡之秋,是它們正真需要幫助的時候?!保ㄘ敻恢形木W)

    譯者:梁宇

    審校:夏林

    While the days of explosive growth were already behind the craft beer industry when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, small independent brewers were still increasing their numbers each year—and there was no sign that any major reversal was on the way. Yet by spring, the numbers could be devastating.

    Despite those many Zoom happy hours and tales of day drinking as you work from home, total beer sales haven’t changed much year to date, says Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association. And small breweries have had to pivot their business models to stay in business, as taprooms shut down, and restaurant draft business dried up.

    Many have increased their production capacity to sell to-go beer. A limited number have been able to do direct shipping to customers. The looming cloud on the horizon, though, is that demand is about to dip.

    “COVID really hit during the best period of the year for small brewer sales,” says Watson. “This is the time brewers make money to survive the lean times. That might be enough to get them through now, but we’re going to see what the winter brings…An event like this has to be drawing down the cash reserves and causing financial harm, so I do think there’s the potential we’ll see an elevated closure rate over the next six to 12 months.”

    At Ale Asylum in Madison, business is down 40% so far this year, says cofounder Otto Dilba. That’s despite the brewery-restaurant having a large patio, which has reopened, a bustling pickup business, and the launch of a wildly successful beer—aptly named “Fvck Covid” —which sells out as soon as they can put it on sale.

    The inside dining room at Ale Asylum has stayed shut so far to decrease the chances of the virus spreading. As winter hits, though, that might not be an option. And that presents another problem.

    “We’re also a production facility,” he says. “If we had to quarantine for two weeks, our business would go under.”

    Fvck Covid has proven to be a bright spot for Ale Asylum. The pilsner (and Fvck Covid 2.0 hazy IPA) has been in high demand not only at the brewery and through Wisconsin and Illinois, the usual distribution range for the brewery, but also in 12 other states as well. Up next is a line of beers called Apocalypse Bingo, which will be sold alongside Fvck Covid. The first beer will be called Murder Hornet Pale Ale.

    While most breweries have replaced draft and taproom sales with canned products, that has been more challenging for smaller brewers who don’t have their own canning line. Mobile canning companies have been in high demand, meaning it’s harder to slot time to get the beer into cans—and the cost of working with those services cuts into margins.

    Perhaps more concerning, a can shortage is looming. Ball Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of cans, told investors last month that can demand in North America is growing at a pace of 8 billion to 10 billion cans a year, and it's struggling to keep up.

    “That reduces the ability of some brewers to pivot,” says Watson. “Some are re-sleeving misprinted cans. Some people are considering bottling, but there’s not as much mobile bottling options…There really isn’t a great option. This isn’t a problem that’s going to be solved until more canning capacity comes online.”

    While many breweries are seeing a surge in direct sales, their efforts to supplement income via wider distribution aren’t progressing as quickly. Partnering with a beer distributor isn’t something that’s normally done quickly since it can have long-term repercussions. But some brewers are sidestepping that hurdle by partnering with Tavour, a beer shipping service.

    So far this year, 90 new brewers have partnered with Tavour. And beer lovers have responded. The company’s business has tripled since March.

    “They’ve been a great partner for a lot of breweries that did have excess capacity,” says Neil Fisher, cofounder and head brewer at WeldWerks Brewing Co. in Greeley, Colo.

    WeldWerks has been one of the fortunate breweries in the pandemic, seeing sales increase and actually increasing its staff by 33% since March.

    “We’re definitely in the minority,” says Fisher. “We’ve been very, very fortunate. We just have a lot of the right business model and the ability to adapt very quickly. We’re not so big that we have so much static friction based on long-term forecasts and plans made 18 months in advance…but we’re big enough to have commodities like our own canning line and access to cans.”

    WeldWerks is the exception, though. A joint study by the Beer Institute, the Brewers Association, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, and the American Beverage Licensees estimates retail beer sales will drop by more than $22 billion due to the pandemic. And more than 651,000 jobs supported by the U.S. beer industry will be lost by the end of the year because of COVID-19.

    In Texas, as many as two-thirds of local craft breweries could be forced to permanently close by the end of 2021, according to a survey from the Texas Craft Brewers Guild.

    “This is do-or-die time for a lot of us,” says Dilba. “Right now, your local brewery needs you more than ever.”

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