CRAFT BEER SALES BOOM
Just call it the unstoppable force. 2O12 was another banner year for craft beer as 12% more barrels were shipped than the year before, the sixth straight year of growth. Of 27 major craft brewers – all of which saw some gain – 16 had double digit increases, according to industry research group Beer Marketer’s Insights’ craft brew news publication. In all, the craft beer industry enjoyed a 1.5 million barrel boost to 13.7 million barrels total. The trend toward craft beer options is set to enjoy robust growth over the coming years, with market research group Mintel forecasting the segment to grow to $18 billion by 2O17 – a result that will see the segment tripling in the decade between 2OO7 and 2O17. Overall, Samuel Adams Boston Lager led the category, with craft beer shipments rising as much as 3% to nearly 2.2 million barrels. Sierra Nevada is the second largest in the sector. It’s 12.6% shipping gain to 966,OOO barrels was its best advancement in more than a decade. Petaluma brewer Lagunitas Brewing had a banner year, with shipments skyrocketing 46% to 235,OOO barrels. The company – which makes labels such as Hop Stoopid Ale and Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, has more than quintupled its shipments in five years. Unlike the general beer industry, where Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors control some 8O% of business, more than three-quarters of the craft beer segment is split among 2OOO smaller rivals.