The San Diego Brewers Guild Concludes Most Successful Year-to-Date, Forecasts 2015 Industry Trends

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After their most successful year-to-date, the SDBG reflects on its accomplishments and looks forward to 2015 with a prediction of industry trends.

Responsible for maintaining San Diego’s reputation as the craft beer capital of America, The San Diego Brewers Guild (SDBG) is a nonprofit collective of the county’s breweries, brewpubs, restaurants and businesses that service the craft beer industry. Since its inception in 1997, the SDBG has created a variety of educational and community events that are aligned with the nonprofit’s core mission: to promote the awareness and importance of fresh, locally brewed beer.

After their most successful year-to-date, the SDBG reflects on its accomplishments and looks forward to 2015 with a prediction of industry trends.

The SDBG concludes its most successful year-to-date that included several new events, from an inaugural golf tournament and educational summits, to partnerships with Los Angeles and San Francisco breweries and sold out large-scale events. The SDBG spent the year keeping San Diego top of mind for craft beer enthusiasts across the world. Below are the SDBG’s 2014 highlights:

  • The SDBG added four new events to the calendar that will be returning in 2015:
  •     Rhythm & Brews Music and Craft Beer Festival
  •     Business of Beer Educational Seminar
  •     San Diego Brewers Guild Golf Tournament
  •     San Diego Beer Week Summit
  • For the first time in San Diego Beer Week (SDBW) history, all official opening events sold out. --
  •     VIP Brewer Takeover
  •      2014 – 1,340 attendees, 52 breweries
  •      2013 – 1,200 attendees, 46 breweries
  •      12% attendance increase from 2013
  •     Guild Festival
  •      2014 – 3,200 attendees, 57 breweries
  •      2013 – 2,800 attendees, 52 breweries
  •      14% attendance increase from 2013
  • SDBW attracted thousands of out-of-town guests which accounted for 6,900 room nights booked.
  • This year, the SDBG comprised of 255 members (breweries, allied members and affiliates), which increased by 27% from 2013.
  • San Diego breweries dominated this year’s World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival with 11 and 14 medals respectively. In conjunction with winning the medals, Coronado Brewing Co. took home the World Beer Cup Champion Brewery and Brewmaster in Mid-Size Brewing, Belching Beaver Brewery won the Alpha King Challenge and ChuckAlek Independent Brewers were awarded a business loan as part of Boston Beer Co.'s Brewing the American Dream program.
  • The SDBG rebranded the SDBG and SDBW logos and created a new and user-friendly website with a curated list of SDBW craft beer events. Plans for a new SDBG website is underway and expected to launch early 2015.
  • The SDBG published an extensive brewery map and guide that can be found at over 850 locations throughout San Diego County. Locations include SDBG breweries, brewpubs and industry affiliates like restaurants, hotels, motels, airports and tourist centers. It is also available on the SDBG website for download. The next edition will be available in February 2015.

San Diego’s dynamic craft beer community is rapidly growing. As leaders of the industry, the SDBG forecasts the 2015 craft beer trends:

  • Single Hop Beers - More IPA’s featuring one specific hop and a simple malt profile allowing brewers to showcase the flavors of new and interesting hops.
  • Session Beers – More and more sessionable beer styles. High alcohol wars have created a need for beers that are lower in ABV. Craft beer lovers can drink a few pints, enjoy the taste and at reasonable price point.
  • Limited Release Beers – More limited release beers and maintenance of limited release beers.
  • Red and Brown Ales – There will be a resurgence of Red and Brown ales for those who are looking for something different.
  • Craft Beer Tourism – Craft beer tourism will continue to grow with the support of the general public and non-industry representatives in the travel and hospitality industries. Hoteliers, travel agents, restaurants and tourism officials will want to get more involved with the craft beer community through partnerships, events and carrying quality, locally brewed beers.
  • Tasting Stores – An increase of “tasting stores” – retail storefronts that are designed like tasting rooms but don’t have any on-premise brewing.

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Fiona Leung