Jan 072020

One week into a new decade, the 20s, is for me, the start of my seventh decade in the beer industry. This might seem a little misleading as I started in the last year of the sixties and this is only the first year of the twenties.  It still works out, however, to seven decades!

This is 401st post since starting the page. While the blog began as a comment on a handful of industry topics, the response from readers that first summer was quite positive, and I have continued writing about past and current matters.  The thought was that the industry might consider looking at issues in a different light. While the subscriber base, which has contained itself to beer industry readers, continues to grow as posts should pass 200K views in 2020.

So, what can we expect and what will the beer industry look like in 2030? Go back to 2010…did anyone think that there would be over 7,000 operating breweries today? Did anyone know what a seltzer was much less see the coming explosion of seltzers? The major domestics continued to lose volume and share as many of their line extensions had seen only minor success. 

A decade can be defined by the changes in the industry.  Take, for example, the 60s, a decade in which AB and Schlitz battled for industry leadership while other nationals, like Pabst and Falstaff were just hanging on. The 70s could be defined as the decade of Light beers and the beginning of the end of the regional beers. The 80s brought the close of big brewers like Schlitz, Pabst, and G. Heileman with Coors expanding east and regionals began the process of consolidation. The 90s could be best known for the rise of Corona and the beginning of crafts. In the 00s, we remember the crafts’ growth, the selling of AB, and the merger of MillerCoors. Finally, the last decade as highlighted above, saw the growth of breweries and the beginning of seltzers. It could also be defined as the end of the big AB and MC brands, but we will know for certain in 10 years. Toward the end of the last decade, a number of large, successful craft breweries had sold to foreign owners, while many medium and small crafts had closed, downsized, or modified their business model.

The famous John Kenneth Galbraith, once said, “There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know.” We will know in 10 years and while I will address these beer industry changes as they happen, it will no longer be on a weekly basis, but instead when the time is right.  I plan to periodically write on beer industry issues and the posts, when written, will still be published on Tuesday mornings.

Again, thanks to all the readers and the interesting and kind comments sent to me over the years, but it is time to scale back. Who knows, you might still hear from me for many months to come, but maybe not. Until the next post, let us see how this decade unfolds.

I haven’t quite gotten the hang of this retirement thing.

 Posted by at 7:00 am

  8 Responses to “I haven’t quite got the hang of this retirement thing!”

  1. Geoff,
    Sorry to see you putting the old cleats on the rack. You have been an Icon in the industry for so many years that writing your book will be more about scaling back to a size smaller than War & Peace, then trying to find fillers to increase the size. I know your handicap will benefit from the time , but I will sure miss reading your historical reminiscence blogs each week. Best health and enjoyment in 2020 to you my friend in whatever you chose to invest your time in. Hope to see you in San Antonio when you get in to town.
    Jeff Nowicki

  2. Geoff

    7 decades ?? No wonder you are slowing down .I always thought you were older than me !!

    I now can get my Tuesdays free again.Keep us informed about the business we all love and have a Happy and Healthy New Year


  3. Geoff,
    I have always enjoyed your posts. I might not like it if you totally retire! I writes in December of 2018 but your blog and others help in some way to keep me abreast of an industry that was my life for 5 decades of my life. Thanks!

  4. Geoff-
    Thanks for the posts. I’ve always enjoyed your insight.
    – Bob

  5. Geoff,
    Congratulations on 7 decades! That’s an impressive run, even for an industry where many family members start young and stay long. Best wishes and looking forward to your next post!

  6. Thanks Geoff for putting Diane and Moi first and second on “Beer Business Unplugged’s personal Hall of Fame”. I know I appreciated it and I’m sure Diane would have as well. Maybe she has already started a Beer Business Unplugged “ club as we all know we’ll all be joining Diane and others that have already passed someday.
    I believe I have read all 401 of your posts, you have kept me in the business, 28 great years until my retirement in 2004. It is a marvelous fraternity as I still keep in touch with a lot of the great people I met on supplier and wholesaler side of the beer family.
    Geoff, a big thank you for creating “BBU” and writing all those posts.
    LK George

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>