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US retailers see craft beer and hard seltzer sales spike

Craft beers and hard seltzers are seeing an uplift in sales in US stores this summer with chains constantly needing to restock the shelves.

US convenience store chain Mendez Fuel’s vice president of operations Andrew Mendez revealed in a Marketwatch report that “beer and hard seltzer sales are up this summer” explaining that he was “constantly filling up the shelves” to sate demand.

Mendez revealed that interestingly it is the beer from microbreweries that seems to be selling the most and explained: “Overall, I move more beer than anything else. Top sellers are Jupiter, Florida-based Civil Society Fresh IPA, Miami-based Tripping Animals Brewing Co.’s Ever Haze IPA, and No Mames cans. It has really blown up.”

At Hi-Lo Liquor Mart’s Los Angeles stores, locally-produced microbrewery beers are reportedly quenching the thirst of many beer drinkers who would have otherwise once bought macro beers, but owing to supply-chain issues now opt for craft.

Hi-Lo beer program manager Chase Dipple said: “Single beers, four-packs, and six-packs have been moving tremendously. We are moving a lot of high-quality micro craft beers across all packaging formats.” 

At the chain, big single-serve sellers include Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Hazy Little Thing and locally produced Jiant Strawberry Kiwi Hard Tea. Whereas Offshoot Beer Co.’s Relax It’s Just A Hazy IPA is a leading brand in the four-pack of 16-ounce can format, and top-selling six-packs of 12-ounce cans include Bear Republic Brewing Co.’s Racer 5 IPA and Calidad Beer’s Classic Mexican-style brew. 

Dipple revealed that hard seltzer sales could also increase share as regional brands including Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Smooj Hard Smoothies and San Diego-based Ashland Hard Seltzer were answering a need for alternatives.

Mendez agreed that hard seltzers are also rising in popularity and added: “Every social media influencer now has a hard seltzer/spritz drink” and hinted that “White Claw and Truly run the hard seltzer game” but revealed that “Happy Dad 12-pack hard seltzer also does really well”.

Dipple pointed out how there is still headroom for craft beer to grow and that, rather than the category reaching over-saturation, consumers found the variety of styles appealing. He added: “Micro beers will continue to grow because brewers are creatively expanding techniques and using new and exciting hops” and “new small malt producing companies are coming out, and there are still a lot of variations brewers can produce”.

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