It’s a good question. Homebrewers are the commercial craft brewers of tomorrow. Buying a Mr. Beer brewing kit and fronting a truck full of money to start a brewery does not make you a brewer (though the money can help). Brewing is a science and an art — both honed through homebrewing with the goal of becoming a professional brewer. Homebrewers, much like commercial brewers, also love beer and brew constantly. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) wondered if there was a correlation between the beers homebrewers are crafting and trends in the growing craft beer marketplace. So the association sent Brewers Association Chief Economist Dr. Bart Watson to investigate.
Watson analyzed the data on entries in the National Homebrew Competition (NHC), the largest beer competition in the world, looking back to the nearly 7,000 entries in 2011 and working his way to 2015. What did he find? Watson explains in his excellent article:
Although the results aren’t perfect, there is some strong evidence that homebrewers (or, at least, NHC participants) are in fact trendsetters. Looking at the style data, the number of entries in 2011 has a positive correlation with that styles growth from 2011-2015. In other words, the more entries a category had, the more likely that style grew in the marketplace over the next four years.
Head over to the full story on the AHA website by clicking here for even more findings and insight into Watson’s methodology.