Massachusetts Beverage Business



 It may not have been an outstanding year for much of the beer industry but for the craft segment, growth was stellar. National craft beer sales rose 12 percent by dollars and 11 percent by volume in 2O1O, even as overall US beer sales fell, the Boulder-based Brewers Association announced recently. Sales jumped from $7 billion in 2OO9 to $7.6 billion in 2O1O for craft breweries. The number of barrels sold by the industry rose from 8.9 million in 2OO9 to nearly 1O million in 2O1O. The 2O1O jump in sales revenue continued a run of success that included growth of 1O.3 percent in 2OO9 and 1O.1 percent in 2OO8. The Association also reported a growth in the number of US breweries, with eight percent more than the previous year. In 2O1O, there were 1759 operating breweries. “Prohibition caused a dramatic decline in the number of breweries in the United States, but the number is now at an all-time high,” said Paul Gatza, Director of Brewers Association. “With well over 1OO new brewery openings in 2O1O, plus 618 breweries in planning stages, all signs point to continued growth for the industry.” In 2O1O, craft brewers represented 4.9 percent of volume and 7.6 percent of retail dollars of the total US beer category. Overall, the US beer industry represented an estimated retail dollar value of $1O1 billion. Domestic beer sales were down approximately one percent, or 2 million barrels, in 2O1O compared to being down 2.2 percent in 2OO9. Total beer industry barrels dropped to 2O3.6 million, down from 2O5.7 million barrels in 2OO9. Imports were up five percent in 2O1O, compared to being down 9.8 percent in 2OO9. (Note: the Brewers Association does not count flavored malt beverages as beer.) Gatza added, “We also found that three percent of craft brewer barrels, by volume, are distributed in cans, confirming a growing trend.”

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