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05.2009

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedOnBeerReport

MORE GREAT GROWTH for U.S. CRAFT BREWS

IF THERE WAS ANY DOUBT LEFT the American craft beer industry has definitely moved into the big leagues. As the economy continues to struggle, American craft beer exports again grew by double digits in 2OO8 proving that the industry has carved out quite a niche for itself internationally. The Brewers Association reports that estimated international sales by independent craft brewers were up 25% by volume and 38% in dollars for 2OO8. The Brewers Association recently concluded its annual export survey, which revealed that for the sixth consecutive year (the only years for which data has been collected), US craft beer exports increased substantially with solid growth to all markets. Exports to Canada rose by 78% on the heels of new general listings with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. In Europe (the largest export market for American craft beers), shipments rose 16% by volume with consistent gains in Scandinavia and the UK. In Japan, American craft beer exports grew by 51% while exports elsewhere in Asia grew by 53%, driven largely by gains in China and the Philippines. The Brewers Association’s export activities are guided by an industry steering committee chaired by Brett Joyce of Rogue Ales. Reacting to the release of the statistics, Joyce stated, “The 25% growth in American craft breweries’ exports in 2OO8 is clear proof that beer drinkers throughout the world are discovering the quality, creativity and diversity of US craft beers. The Export Development Committee is thrilled that US craft beer can be enjoyed on four continents and we look forward to continuing our momentum, growth, and geographic expansion in 2OO9.”

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