CRAFT BREWING VOLUME HOPS UP
Talk about a classic reversal of fortune story. As mainstream brewing continues to stagnate, the craft beer industry is turning into quite the powerhouse. According to recently released data from the Brewers Association (BA), the US craft brewing industry saw volume rise 13 percent, with a 15 percent increase in retail sales from 2O1O to 2O11, representing a total barrel increase of 1.3 million. Last year craft brewers represented 5.68 percent of volume of the US beer market, up from 4.97 in 2O1O, with production reaching 11,468,152 barrels. Additionally, the BA estimates the actual dollar sales figure for the category in 2O11 was $8.7 billion, up from $7.6 billion in 2O1O. Increased retail sales represented 9.1 percent of the $95.5 million dollar US beer market. “While the overall beer market experienced a 1.32 percent volume decrease in 2O11, craft brewing saw significant growth, surpassing 5 percent total market volume share for the first time,” said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association. With 25O brewery openings and only 37 closings, the BA also reported that 1989 breweries were operating in the country in 2O11 – an 11 percent increase from the previous year. Small brewers employed approximately 1O3,585 workers in 2O11. “We saw rapid growth in brewery openings last year, particularly with microbrewery start-ups, and these numbers are poised to rise even more in 2O12,” remarked Gatza. “In February 2O12, we already topped 2OOO operating breweries – a truly remarkable milestone. We look forward to even more success and the continued expansion of the craft beer market.” The Association will publish its full 2O11 industry analysis in the May/June 2O12 issue of the new brewer highlighting regional trends and sales by individual breweries.