Is the Craft Beer Movement Losing Steam?

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The craft beer scene over the last five years has changed significantly. 

It all started with the craft beer boom, where suddenly consumers were gravitating to local brews. 

Craft beer soon became its own section on beverage menus across the country. 

But in the last two years, more and more big beer players have started to buy-out small and independent craft breweries causing some loyal fans to call the smaller craft beer breweries "sell-outs." 

Could this be why consumers are losing interest in craft beer? 

According to recent data from the market research firm IRI Worldwide, the sales volume of craft beer at retail stores increased by 1.7 percent so far in the first half of 2018. 

Although this is still growth, it's the craft beer industry's slowest rate in a while. 

" And IRI Worldwide’s news gets even worse: For the most recent four-week period, craft beer sales volume was up just 0.2 percent from the year before," writes "Food and Wine." "To summarize it simply: Anyone who was hoping 2018 would be a turnaround year for the craft beer market is going to be extremely disappointed. Things appear to be getting worse before they get any better."

While New Belgium and Deschutes saw a 10.4 percent drop in their sales volume, other breweries on the rise like Dogfish Head saw a spike of 13.6 percent. 

But with the competitive beer market with an influx of craft breweries, paired with the local movement, big brewers are seeing a drop in sales too. MillerCoors saw a 2.13 percent drop in sale volume this year. 

Read more about the beer slowdown at "Food & Wine."