USA: Another pioneer of craft brewing is struggling

Summit Brewing Company from Saint Paul, Minnesota, the oldest and one of the largest craft beer breweries in the land of 10,000 lakes has laid off about 10 percent of its staff. The company is another victim of the proliferation of the American craft beer industry.

As every day new breweries pop up all over America the overall beer market cannot grow at the same pace and the pioneers of the industry, which have outgrown their home markets in recent years are losing market share. Last year half of the U.S.'s 50 largest craft brewers experienced flat or declining sales, according to Brewers Association's chief economist Bart Watson. ( 22.5.2017)

Summit’s founder Mark Stutrud, who started the company already in 1986, said a changing and crowded craft-beer industry was partially to blame for the layoffs. “In many ways we’re being very proactive, keeping ahead of the curve and making some adjustments,” Stutrud said.

“The tough thing about it is that everyone who has left our organization, they’re really great people. We simply assembled a team to make much more beer than we’re making now.”

Last year the brewery already announced to cease distribution to six states — Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and Michigan.

In order to reverse the trend, Stutrud announced to renovate the taproom of the brewery and to introduce several new beers to the market.

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