In recent years, beer sales have maintained gradual growth since they took a nosedive in 2020.

In 2019, beer revenue in the U.S. was over $120 billion, according to Statista. Then, COVID-19 impacted businesses, big and small, and beer sales plummeted over $20 billion and produced only $98.4 billion in revenue.

Since then, the market has grown less than $10 billion on an annual basis. This year, beer revenue is projected to be $126.6 billion, and revenue by 2027 is expected to be upward of $145 billion, according to Statista.

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However, there is more to selling beer than just bottling it and purchasing shelf space. More and more, consumers are looking to buy direct-to-consumer – including beer enthusiasts.

Since the pandemic, online retail has seen a subtle ascent due to consumer shopping preferences. From 2015-2019, online retail sales globally increased less than 2% on an annual basis. In 2019, 13.6% of all retail sales worldwide were done online. Then, in 2020, online retail sales increased to 18%. From there on, e-commerce has steadily increased and is not projected to revert to figures documented prior to the pandemic.

Wine and spirits are much more accessible to consumers online. However, the beer industry has recently been confronted with the impact of lack of direct-to-consumer accessibility.

Talea Beer Co. is the first and only female-owned brewery in NYC

Talea Beer Co. is a craft brewery that is meeting consumer’s requirements and selling online.

Tara Hankinson and LeAnn Darland are the co-founders and co-CEOs of Talea Beer Co., based in New York City. The company is the first and only beer distillery in NYC owned by women. And though customers can visit them in-house, Talea also offers a variety of craft IPAs, pilsners, sours and more on their website.

“I’m watching people drink my beer,” Hankinson told FOX Business as she sat and looked fondly upon her customers. “On a daily basis, we know our product is reaching thousands of people.”

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The homebrewers turned business owners each have unique backgrounds, but their mutual passion for home brewing is what harvested their need for crafting a beer brand themselves.

After graduating from the Naval Academy, Darland served in the Navy for five years. Then, while living in San Diego, she kick-started a career in finance at Google while also taking in the world of craft beer as a consumer herself.

Hankinson graduated from NYU with a business degree. From there, she enrolled in wine classes and realized the craft beer industry was skimping on the beloved winery experience.

“I started home brewing and had a full-time job in management consulting,” Hankinson said. Within three months of the women meeting, they caught sight of their mutual passion for craft beer.

“Finding a co-founder is really important because entrepreneurship can be really lonely,” Hankinson said. “Especially if you’re a woman.”

Hankinson and Darland have maintained their zealous for craft beer and found success in the market. Since 2021, the duo has opened four taproom locations in various pockets around NYC.

“Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress,” Hankinson advised. “It’s okay if not everything is perfect, because sometimes progress is more important than being type A all the time.”

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