"Their parents started on Coors Light and stayed with Coors Light," said Thorpe, whose company is a subsidiary of Duvel Moortgat USA. "But this generation was never really exposed to that classic American mainstream beer business."
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Brewery Ommegang is known for its Belgian-style beers including Rare Vos Amber Ale, Ommegang Witte Ale, Three Philosophers Quadruple Ale. The company also recently made a splash with a line of inspired by the hit HBO show "Game of Thrones."
Thorpe sees an expanding group of millennial beer drinkers, who fall between ages 18 and 33, who started with more flavorful beer and have traded brand loyalty for experimentation.
The result, he said, is a business model that resembles an industry not often associated with the beer business.
"Cosmetics companies are geared up to be able to bring out, very efficiently, a whole new set of colors to match a particular fashion or season. Breweries have to do a similar thing," Thorpe said. "Keeping things fresh, new and relevant is the single biggest challenge that all breweries face."
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In managing the challenge of keeping things fresh, Thorpe sees an opportunity in the willingness among millennials to pay more money for higher quality.
"As a group, they are much more likely to say, 'I would rather spend my $10 on one good thing, than three things that are mediocre,'" he said.
While craft beer is often cited as an affordable luxury, Thorpe is staking out a higher ground within the craft category.
The strategy involves creating attributes more often associated with luxury products such as automobiles and watches.
"There must be truth and craftsmanship and honesty in the way that something is made," Thorpe said. "That's critical to the way that people view luxury. You can't market something into being authentic."