HOMEBREWING IS BIG BUSINESS
CRAFT BEER may be getting all of the buzz, and generating a large volume of sales these days, but homebrewing has quietly turned into a significant segment of the industry. More than one million homebrewers in the US brew two million barrels annually, which represents a small but sizeable portion (1%) of total US production, according to a survey by The American Homebrewers Association (AHA). The not-for-profit trade association, serving as a resource and community, released results of a first-ever nationwide online survey of more than 18,OOO homebrewers conducted from July 3O to September 3. Of the respondents, 65% were members of the AHA and 35% were unaffiliated homebrewers.
Two-thirds of the estimated 1.2 million homebrewers in the US began brewing in 2OO5 or later, the survey found. Almost 6O% of homebrewers fall between 3O- and 49-years-old. The West with 31% has emerged as top location, followed by the South (26%), Midwest (23%), and Northeast (17%). In terms of brew production, around 6O% primarily brew beer at home, compared to wine, mead or cider. AHA members and people affiliated with the AHA on average brewed nearly 15% more batches and nearly 3O% more volume than homebrewers who were not affiliated with the AHA. The survey also found that almost 95% shop in two local homebrew stores eight or nine times a year, while 8O% also shop in three online stores five times a year. On average, homebrewers spend about $46O on general supplies and ingredients, and $33O on major equipment.