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The US craft beer industry is booming

Craft brewers are small, independent, and traditional. Craft brewers have an annual production of less than 6 million barrels of beer or fewer, have less than 25% owned by a non-craft brewer, and use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor, or at least 50% of their products brewed by volume are malt beers.

The US craft beer industry has surged since the late noughties. Worth an estimated $10.2bn in 2012, the craft beer industry far outgrew the overall beer industry. While craft beer sales grew by 15% by volume and 18% by value, the beer industry itself experienced a marginal growth of 0.9% by volume in 2012. An estimated 200,028,520 barrels of beer were sold. Of these, an estimated 13,235,917 barrels, or 6.6%, were craft beer.

Half year 2013 results published by the Brewers Association, a not-for-profit trade group that represents small and independent craft brewers in the US, indicated that the industry shows no signs of slowing down. Value and volume sales were up by 15% and 13%, respectively, and around 7.3 million barrels of beer were sold by small and independent craft brewers, up from 6.4 million sold in the same period in 2012. The gap between the craft beer industry and beer industry as a whole widened: the beer industry declined by 2% in the first half of 2013. Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, said “Demand for beer produced by small and independent brewers has never been higher, as evidenced by increased production and the hundreds of new breweries joining the playing field each year.”

Find this interesting? You may also like our ‘Beer Industry Profiles’.

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