What Google Search Trends Can Tell Us About Craft Beer

As a search marketing professional and general enthusiast of consumer trends, I’ve found Google Search Insights an amazing resource.  Some of you may have already assumed some of these trends, but I want to call attention to some interesting search behaviors.

Macro Beer Trends

1. Craft Beer – Only Going Up!

Craft Beer Trend

Craft Beer Trend – Peaking in May 2012

It’s obvious that the craft beer market is hot.  From 2010 to 2011, the number of craft breweries in the U.S. has grown by 25% (1,596 breweries to 1,989 breweries). Right here in SF seems to be the hottest market alone.  We’ve seen multiple new breweries open up over the last year and a half (Mill Valley Beerworks, Triple Voodoo, Southern Pacific Brewing, Pacific Brew Labs, and others).

2. California Breweries – Oh, it’s 2011? Let’s Start a Brewery!

California Breweries

California Breweries – What Happened in 2011?

Further proving my point is the search for ‘breweries’ in California.  It seems as though the hype spiked at the beginning of 2011 and is going to gain momentum.  I imagine this search trend increasing strongly over the next year.

3. Beer vs. Wine – Watch Out Wine!

Beer vs. Wine

Beer vs. Wine

First, I never realized how popular wine was as a holiday present – I imagine packages of craft beer beginning to be the new Christmas present and people researching the best beers online.  Second, the gap between wine and beer is shrinking and given the high number of new beers being produced, beer should surpass wine in search volume by 2013.

4. Brewery Tour – Summer Activity

Brewery Tour Search Trend

Good Thing We Offer Brewery Tours

What interests me most about this trend isn’t that it’s going up, but that people tend to search for brewery tours in July.  I figured summer would be the best season, but never thought there would be such a drastic difference winter and summer.  One thing for sure, don’t expect much tour business in November.  I also should be taking in consideration that this is looking at the entire U.S. and not everyone has weather like SF…

Styles of Beer

1. Hefeweizen – Summer Beer (June through August)


Hefeweizen – Your Summer Beer

2. Stout – Winter Beer (December through March)

Stout Trend

Stout Trend – Let’s Wait For the Cold Weather

3.  Porter – The Winter Friend

Porter Search Trend

Porter Search Trend – Friends with the Stout

4. IPA Trend – Hottest Beer since 2010

IPA Trend

IPA Trend

The fastest growing and most popular beer in the craft beer market is the IPA – especially in the Bay Area.  Beers like the Hop Stoopid, Pliny the Younger (and Elder), and the Big Daddy are a few examples of big hoppy beers in the Bay Area.  It’s an addiction on the West coast and everyone wants the hoppiest beer possible.  Please go to the Double IPA festival next year – those beers are unbelievable.


1. Lagunitas – One of the Fastest Growing Breweries in the US

Lagunitas Brewery

Lagunitas Brewery – Yeah, I Hear They’re Growing

In case you haven’t heard, Lagunitas is opening a new brewery in Chicago.  Another reason why this brand is trending on ‘the Google.’

2. Dogfish Head – Sam Calagione

Dogfish Head

Dogfish Head – Sam Calagione is a Crazy Dude

When I call Sam a crazy man, I mean that in a positive way.  Dogfish Head can attribute so much success to that one man.  He’s always pushing boundaries: changing state legislation so he could open the brewery, creating the most innovative beers, has a TV show, and is an author. Not sure what more he can do, but glad to see Dogfish head is still trending up!


  • Craft Beer is taking off and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future
  • Beer tours are the most popular in July
  • California breweries exploded in 2011
  • The worst month for beer is November
  • Hefeweizens are for the summer, Stouts for the winter
  • Lagunitas is the talk of the town

About brewtours

Golden Gate BrewTours strives to be the premium craft beer educational service in the industry by providing an intimate, educational, and engaging touring experience that explores local craft breweries in the SF Bay Area.
This entry was posted in Craft Beer, Craft Beer Education, Craft Beer Industry, Lagunitas. Bookmark the permalink.

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