CRAFT STAYS COOL
2OO9 was not a banner year for US beer sales. According to beer marketer’s insights, shipments were down 2.2 percent from 2OO8, the worst single-year decline since the mid-195Os. The big brewers took the hardest hits. Anheuser-Busch was off 2.1 percent nationwide while MillerCoors was down 1.9 percent. Craft brewers, however, had something to raise a glass to. Their category saw shipments increase a staggering near 9 percent. In addition to adding capacity and tapping into new markets, some brewers found themselves in the position of needing to outsource production and even hire people. And two craft brewers, Boston Beer Co. and Yuengling of Pottsville, PA, managed to do so well in 2OO9 that they surpassed the 2 million barrels a year “craft” mark. Not a bad problem to have!