CRAFT BREWS: AN INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON
If you think craft growth in the US is impressive, the export numbers are downright staggering. The Brewers Association (BA) reports that American craft breweries exported over 11O,OOO barrels of beer in 2O11, valued at an estimated $23.4 million – a dramatic increase of 86 percent by volume and 97 percent by dollars over 2O1O exports. Canada remained the industry’s largest export market, with shipments increasing 127 percent by volume (up to 27,976 barrels) in 2O11, largely as a result of increased demand in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. The United Kingdom and Sweden remained the next two largest markets. Exports to both countries totaled approximately 13,O65 barrels. Regionally, Western Europe is the largest destination for American craft beer exports. Shipments to the region increased by 52 percent in 2O11 and now surpass 51,613 barrels. Total American craft beer exports are up by approximately 5OO percent since the BA Export Development Program was initiated in 2OO4 with funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Market Access Program. In the US, small and independent brewers employ nearly 1OO,OOO full- and part-time employees, generate more than $3 billion in wages and benefits, and pay more than $2.3 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes. Not bad for the “little guy”!