The popularity of ‘craft’ beer has been growing. It attracts consumers, entrepreneurs and financial interests. The sector benefits from the inflow of cash, passion and capital, but its prosperity and potential invite commercial opportunism. In the future, we are likely to see more short-sighted actions that lack integrity.
As host, this Beer Blogging Friday is special for me. Therefore, I wanted my contribution to be something more original than the stuff I usually write about – policy, regulation, taxation, etc. This time, it is about one less obvious activity in the beer business whose risk is increasing and I think we will see more of in the future: counterfeiting.
There are scarce and exclusive products appearing on the market. They are typically hard to obtain and are more expensive. There are consumers who would make extra sacrifices to access such products and be part of the experience. It will be very difficult for them though to compare their experience with that of others, for reasons inherent to exclusivity.
On the one hand, the sense of risk of being found out of counterfeiting exclusive products is negligible, especially if the ‘craft’ beer retail universe further proliferates. On the other hand, counterfeiting expensive products is financially rewarding. This is not an activity anybody wants to see more of, but if the reward to risk ratio further improves, it is likely to be seen more of in the future.
FYI: this The Session logo is not original…