While the craft brewing industry saw record numbers over the two-year pandemic haze, 2022 ushered in record lows for many. Short’s Brewing Co. noted it was down 10 percent from previous years, hovering around the industry average, according to a recent press release.
“We knew that COVID growth numbers weren’t sustainable,” stated CEO Scott Newman-Bale. “Thankfully, we forecasted a down year at the start of 2022, as we planned to eliminate multiple brands and cease bottle production, so we spent the year making sure we were focused on quality and projects we ﬁnd fun which we know will ultimately guide us well. The industry will have a few tough years ahead, we did everything we could to set ourselves up for a healthy year in 2023.”
But while the brewery has had its fair share of challenges — labor and housing shortages led to the purchase of a 26 unit inn last April, and climate change threatened fruit supply for one of their top brands, fruit ale Soft Parade — one brand outshone the competition to claim the top spot in the Craft Lager category.
Local’s Light, thanks to it’s approachable, full bodied proﬁle and lo-cal, lo-carb footprint, has beat out craft giants to top the list of lagers sold in the state of Michigan in 2022. Local’s grew 10.2 percent over 2021 numbers and saw an average of 40 percent growth in their top accounts, in both the on- and oﬀ-premise world.
Pretty impressive for a destination brewery producing less than 60,000 barrels per year and a beer brand that’s been around since Short’s opened in 2004. So how’d they do it?
“Well, ﬁrst, it’s dang delicious,” stated Kerry Lynch, sales director for the brewery. “It’s absolutely a ‘wow, that was delightful, I’m gonna order another’ beer, which has been the ultimate goal. It’s also a true craft Lager, made with only grain, water, yeast, and hops — beer in its simplest form as we like to say. We don’t add corn or rice or other ﬁllers like most brewers do. Plus, we’ve tried to keep price increases to a minimum — we know accounts and consumers are struggling with massive inﬂation everywhere else — so you can get a keg of Local’s Light for less than almost any keg beer, including macro-produced beers, so it’s a win/win for accounts and patrons alike.”
Local’s Light is available on draft and in packages across Short’s distribution footprint in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Tennessee, and New Jersey.