Brewery closures appear to be on the rise and the struggling craft beer industry may be at a tipping point.
According to the Brewers Association, the industry’s largest trade group, early 2022 data suggests inconsistent sales and an increase in brewery closures.
"2022 is going to be a make-or-break year for many breweries," said the trade group’s senior economist Bart Watson earlier this year.
As reported by CNN Business, 53 craft breweries closed in Q1 of this year, compared to 42 in the same time period in 2021.
Though 9,100 craft breweries remain, “more closures are expected,” says the report.
While the pandemic thrust many challenges on the industry in 2020 and 2021, there was still relief money available to support many struggling brewers.
This year, Watson told CNN Business, craft breweries “are going to have to stand on their own.”
The Ukraine war has also added pressure to wheat and barley supplies, a situation that Watson said “could accelerate” closings.