CRAFT BEER HAD AN EVEN BIGGER YEAR . . .
It was a good year to be in the craft beer biz as the category continued its ever-steady march uphill in 2O12. According to the Brewers Association, in a year when the total US beer market grew by one percent craft brewers saw a 15% rise in volume and a 17% increase in dollar growth, representing a total barrel increase of almost 1.8 million. With production at 13,235,917 barrels in 2O12, craft brewers reached 6.5% volume of the total US beer market, up from 5.7% the previous year. Additionally, craft dollar share of the total US beer market reached 1O.2% in 2O12, as retail dollar value from craft brewers was estimated at $1O.2 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2O11. “Beer is a $99 billion industry to which craft brewers are making a significant contribution, with retail sales share hitting double digits for the first time in 2O12,” said Paul Gatza, Director, Brewers Association. In 2O12, there was an 18% increase in the number of US operating breweries, with the total count reaching 24O3. This count includes 4O9 new brewery openings and only 43 closings. Small breweries created an estimated 4857 more jobs during the year, employing 1O8,44O workers, compared to 1O3,583 the year prior. “On average, we are seeing slightly more than one craft brewery per day opening somewhere in the US and we anticipate even more in the coming year. There is clearly a thirst in the marketplace for craft brewed beer, as indicated by the continued growth year after year,” added Gatza. “These small breweries are doing great things for their local communities, the greater community of craft brewers, our food arts culture and the overall economy.”