Craft beer sales slow but southern Oregon feels fine

MEDFORD, Ore.– Oregonians love their craft beer but according to recent reports sales may be slowing down in Oregon – and across the nation.

According to a business consulting firm, 2017 sales grew by just point .3 percent compared to 13.8 percent in 2014.

Deschutes Brewery in Bend is blaming marijuana for the slump in sales of craft beer.

That may be but for local breweries and bars around southern Oregon, things couldn’t be better.

“These traditional models from 25 years ago, 20 years ago, they’re finding themselves a little bit caught behind the new wave,” said Chris Dennett, owner of Beerworks. “The new wave is occasional’s, one-offs, small breweries, almost doing like hyper-craft beer.”

Dennett said sales at their location in downtown Medford are doing fine and it seems customers keep coming back to try something new. He said smaller craft beer breweries are starting to change the game and producing something new all the time for consumers, something larger breweries can’t always do.

“Maybe they do an IPA all the time but they do different kinds of IPA’s every time they make an IPA,” said Dennett. “That keeps it fresh for the consumer, it keeps it interesting for people but it definitely leaves behind the larger breweries.”

Local breweries expect to see sales continue to climb as well as competition from other start-up craft breweries.

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