Craft beer volumes up 15% in 2012

I just got my annual press release from the Brewers Association crowing about the state of the craft beer business.

For the umpteenth year in a row, craft beer has seen double-digit growth. Fifteen percent by volume, in fact.

Domestic beer production overall grew by 1%.

Even better, craft beer grew 17% when measured in dollars. (Okay, not so good when it comes to my wallet, but it shows the industry isn’t discounting itself out of business.)

Of course, craft beer still only accounts for less than 7% (6.5, to be precise) of the entire domestic beer market. Considering it was under 5% only a couple years ago, that’s still good news.

The entire press release is below:


Brewers Association: Craft Continues to Brew Growth

Volume and Sales Significantly Outpaced the Overall Market in 2012

Boulder, CO • March 18, 2013 — The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing small and independent American brewers, today released 2012 data on U.S. craft brewing1 growth. In a year when the total U.S. beer market grew by one percent, craft brewers saw a 15 percent rise in volume2 and a 17 percent increase in dollar growth, representing a total barrel increase of almost 1.8 million.

With production at 13,235,917 barrels in 2012, craft brewers reached 6.5 percent volume of the total U.S. beer market, up from 5.7 percent the previous year. Additionally, craft dollar share of the total U.S. beer market reached 10.2 percent in 2012, as retail dollar value from craft brewers was estimated at $10.2 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2011.

“Beer is a $99 billion industry to which craft brewers are making a significant contribution, with retail sales share hitting double digits for the first time in 2012,” said Paul Gatza, director, Brewers Association. “Small and independent brewers are consistently innovating and producing high quality, flavor-forward craft brewed beer. Americans are not only responding to greater access to these products, but also to the stories and people behind them.”

U.S. Craft Brewers' GrowthIn 2012, there was an 18 percent increase in the number of U.S. operating breweries, with the total count reaching 2,403. This count includes 409 new brewery openings and only 43 closings. Small breweries created an estimated 4,857 more jobs during the year, employing 108,440 workers, compared to 103,583 the year prior.

“On average, we are seeing slightly more than one craft brewery per day opening somewhere in the U.S. and we anticipate even more in the coming year. There is clearly a thirst in the marketplace for craft brewed beer, as indicated by the continued growth year after year,” added Gatza. “These small breweries are doing great things for their local communities, the greater community of craft brewers, our food arts culture and the overall economy.”

Note: Numbers are preliminary. A more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, D.C. from March 26-29. The full 2012 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2013 issue of The New Brewer, highlighting regional trends and sales by individual breweries.

1 The definition of a craft brewer as stated by the Brewers Association: An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Small: Annual production of beer less than 6 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50 percent of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.

2 Volume by craft brewers represent total taxable production.

# # #

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.

Top Craft Brewers for 2011

The Brewers Association has just released their lists of the Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewers and Top 50 Overall U.S. Brewers for 2011 based on beer sales volume.

Here are the Top 10 Craft Brewers. No surprises here.

  1. Boston Beer Co. – Boston, Massachusetts
  2. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Chico, California
  3. New Belgium Brewing Co. – Fort Collins, Colorado
  4. The Gambrinus Company – San Antonio, Texas
  5. Deschutes Brewery – Bend, Oregon
  6. Matt Brewing Co. – Utica, New York
  7. Bell’s Brewery, Inc. – Galesburg, Michigan
  8. Harpoon Brewery – Boston, Massachusetts
  9. Lagunitas Brewing Co. – Petaluma, California
  10. Boulevard Brewing Co. – Kansas City, Missouri

My friends up the road, Flying Dog, came in at #26.

You can get the full lists at the Brewers Association press release. As is now tradition, Jay Brooks has an annotated list of the Top 50 overall showing last year’s position.

Craft beer up 15% so far in 2011

The news for the past week or so, on either side of the pond, has been pretty sucky. But here’s some good news: According to the Brewers Association, beer sales, in dollars, have increased 15% over the same time last year. Volume was up 14%.

I know for sure that I’m not entirely responsible for this uptick. Oh, and by the way, volume increased by 9% in the first half of 2010.

Even cooler is that there are over seven hundred craft breweries in the pipeline.

Brewers Association Press Release

Top 50 U.S. Brewing Companies – 2010

The Brewers Association just released their list of the top Brewers and Craft Brewers.

Below is the list of Top 50 Brewing Companies (based on volume):

  1. Anheuser-Busch Inc. – St. Louis MO
  2. MillerCoors Brewing Co. – Chicago IL
  3. Pabst – Woodbridge IL
  4. D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc. – Pottsville PA
  5. Boston Beer Co. –  Boston MA
  6. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Chico CA
  7. New Belgium Brewing Co. – Fort Collins CO
  8. North American Breweries* – Rochester NY
  9. Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc.* – Portland OR
  10. Spoetzl Brewery* – Shiner TX
  11. Deschutes Brewery – Bend OR
  12. Independent Brewers United (IBU)* – Burlington VT
  13. Matt Brewing Co. – Utica NY
  14. Minhas Craft Brewery – Monroe WI
  15. Bell’s Brewery, Inc. – Galesburg MI
  16. Harpoon Brewery – Boston MA
  17. Boulevard Brewing Co. – Kansas City MO
  18. Goose Island Beer Co. – Chicago IL
  19. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Milton DE
  20. Alaskan Brewing and Bottling Co. – Juneau AK
  21. Long Trail Brewing Co. – Bridgewater Corners VT
  22. August Schell Brewing Co. – New Ulm MN
  23. Stone Brewing Co. – Escondido CA
  24. Abita Brewing Co. – Abita Springs LA
  25. Brooklyn Brewery – Brooklyn NY
  26. Lagunitas Brewing Co. – Petaluma CA
  27. Full Sail Brewing Co. – Hood River OR
  28. Shipyard Brewing Co. – Portland ME
  29. Summit Brewing Co. – St Paul MN
  30. New Glarus Brewing Co. – New Glarus WI
  31. Great Lakes Brewing Co. – Cleveland OH
  32. Anchor Brewing Co. – San Francisco CA
  33. Iron City Brewing Co. – Pittsburgh PA
  34. Kona Brewery LLC* – Kailua-Kona HI
  35. Rogue Ales – Newport OR
  36. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. – Paso Robles CA
  37. Winery Exchange Inc. / World Brews – Novato CA
  38. Sweetwater Brewing Co. - Atlanta GA
  39. Mendocino Brewing Co. – Ukiah CA
  40. Flying Dog Brewery – Frederick MD
  41. Victory Brewing Co. – Downingtown PA
  42. Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. – San Jose CA
  43. BJ’s Chicago Pizza & Brewery, Inc. – Huntington Beach CA
  44. Stevens Point Brewery Co. – Stevens Point WI
  45. Odell Brewing Co. – Fort Collins CO
  46. BridgePort Brewing Co.* – Portland OR
  47. Cold Spring Brewing Co. – Cold Spring MN
  48. Rock Bottom Brewery – Louisville CO
  49. Oskar Blues Brewery – Longmont CO
  50. Straub Brewery – Saint Marys PA

*Top 50 Brewing Companies notes: NAB includes IBU August-December; CBA includes Kona October-December; Spoetzl is part of Gambrinus Company; and IBU is January-August only (sale to NAB); Kona is January-September only (sale to CBA); BridgePort is part of Gambrinus Company. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for the Top 50 rankings.

Hop Talk Podcast #1 – I laughed, I cried…

Ummm…what?!

So, after one too many get-togethers where the four of us sit around and talk about beer and everything else, have a great time, and somebody says “we should be recording this”…well, this time we did it.

It’s rough. Very rough. Very, very rough. But that’s mostly by design. It is really us just talking, although we did pick a few recent beer news items to kick around just so it wasn’t a total ramble.

We had a lot of fun. So much so, we’re going to do it again. (There. You’ve been warned.)

I hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you didn’t, drop us a line.

 

Download it here: Hop Talk Podcast ep. 1 (fixed link to file)


…or subscribe with iTunes

News:

Anheuser-Busch InBev acquires Chicago-based Goose Island.

Anthony Bourdain alleges that the “Brew Masters” series on the Discovery channel was cancelled due to pressure from big brewers. Discovery’s position is that the show didn’t find an audience, so was cancelled.

Brewers Association: Craft Beer sales were up by 11% in 2010 (by volume). Up by 12% by dollars.

Listener mail:

Cathy from Scotland wants to know where to find Old Speckled Hen on draught in Edinburgh. Do you know? Drop us a line: http://hop-talk.com/contact/

What we drank:

(The Unofficial Hop Talk Beer Rating System)

Press Release: Brewers Association Reports 11 percent Volume Growth for U.S. Craft Brewers in 2010

Total U.S. brewery count climbs to its highest level since 1900

Boulder, CO • March 21, 2011—The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, today released 2010 data on the U.S. craft brewing industry. Small and independent craft brewers1 saw volume2 increase 11 percent and retail sales dollars increase 12 percent over 2009, representing a growth of over 1 million barrels (31 gallons per U.S. barrel), equal to more than 14 million new craft cases.

“Beer lovers increased their appreciation for American craft brewers and their beers in 2010,” said Paul Gatza, director, Brewers Association. “Craft brewers’ stories resonate with Americans who are choosing small, independent companies making delicious beers in more than 100 different styles.”

The Association also reported a growth in the number of U.S. breweries, with eight percent more breweries than the previous year. In 2010, there were 1,759 operating breweries. Craft brewers produced 9,951,956 barrels, up from an adjusted3 8,934,446 barrels in 2009.

“Prohibition caused a dramatic decline in the number of breweries in the United States, but the number of breweries is now at an all-time high,” added Gatza. “With well over 100 new brewery openings in 2010, plus 618 breweries in planning stages, all signs point to continued growth for the industry.”

Download High Resolution Graphic Here

In 2010, craft brewers represented 4.9 percent of volume and 7.6 percent of retail dollars of the total U.S. beer category. The Brewers Association estimates the actual dollar sales figure from craft brewers in 2010 was $7.6 billion, up from $7 billion in 2009.

Overall, the U.S. beer industry represented an estimated retail dollar value of $101 billion. U.S. beer sales were down approximately one percent, or 2 million barrels, in 2010 compared to being down 2.2 percent in 2009. Total beer industry barrels dropped to 203.6 million, down from 205.7 million barrels in 2009. Imports were up five percent in 2010, compared to being down 9.8 percent in 2009. (Note: the Brewers Association does not count flavored malt beverages as beer.)

Gatza added, “We also found that three percent of craft brewer barrels, by volume, are distributed in cans, confirming a growing trend.”

A more extensive analysis will be released on March 24 during the Craft Brewers Conference in San Francisco. The Association’s full 2010 industry analysis, which shows regional trends and sales by individual brewery, will be published in the May/June 2011 issue of The New Brewer.


1 The definition of a craft brewer as stated by the Brewers Association: An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Small: Annual production of beer less than 6 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50 percent of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.

2 Volume by craft brewers represent total taxable production.

3 Previous year’s total adjusted due to increased 2009 data points received.

Contact
Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director, julia@brewersassociation.org,303.447.0816 x 113

Barbara Fusco, Sales & Marketing Director, barbara@brewersassociation.org,303.447.0816 x 152

# # #

Based in Boulder, Colorado, USA, the Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade and education association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. Visit BrewersAssociation.org to learn more.

Brewers Association redefines “small”

A press release came out from the Brewers Association today. They’ve changed the definition of what is a “small” brewer.

Here’s a blurb:

In the BA’s craft brewer definition, the term “small” now refers to any independent brewery that produces up to 6 million barrels of traditional beer. The previous definition capped production at 2 million barrels. The changed definition is currently in effect and can be reviewed on the BA website, BrewersAssociation.org. The change to the bylaws went into effect December 20, 2010.

I get what they’re doing. But doesn’t it seem like they’re working really hard to keep Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors, and their ilk out of “the club”? I mean, there’s a big difference between 2 million barrels and 300 million barrels, but still. What happens when the big little guys get bigger?

Of course, to me, the big difference between the members of the Craft Brewer Club and the…other guys, is marketing. Millions upon millions of dollars to convince us that industrial-brewed light lager is what beer really is and it’s what we want to drink.

Maybe that’s what the Brewers Association should use as their definition: Marketing dollars.

Update:

Well, there’s another reason: a new dues-paying member.

Yuengling Joins the Brewers Association

Top Brewers of 2009

The Brewers Association has released their Top 50 Craft and Overall Brewers for 2009 based on sales volume. No surprises in the top ten of either list, really.

Here’s the Top 20 overall brewers:

  1. Anheuser-Busch InBev (St. Louis, MO)
  2. MillerCoors Brewing Co. (Chicago, IL)
  3. Pabst Brewing Co. (Woodridge, IL)
  4. D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc. (Pottsville, PA)
  5. Boston Beer Co. (Boston, MA)
  6. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, CA)
  7. New Belgium Brewing Co. (Fort Collins, CO)
  8. Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc. (Portland, OR)
  9. Spoetzl Brewery (part of Gambrinus) (Shiner, TX)
  10. High Falls Brewing Co. (Rochester, NY)
  11. Minhas Craft Brewery (Monroe, WI)
  12. Pyramid Breweries (part of IBU) (Seattle, WA)
  13. Deschutes Brewery (Bend, OR)
  14. F.X. Matt Brewing Co. (Utica, NY)
  15. Magic Hat Brewing Co. (part of IBU) (Burlington, VT)
  16. Boulevard Brewing Co. (Kansas City, MO)
  17. Harpoon Brewery (Boston, MA)
  18. Alaskan Brewing Co. (Juneau, AK)
  19. Bell’s Brewery, Inc. (Galesburg, MI)
  20. Goose Island Beer Co. (Chicago, IL)

(You can see an annotated version of the full list, showing who moved where, at Brookston Beer Bulletin.)

Top beer brands of 2008

The Brewers Association recently released the Top 50 Craft Brewing companies and Top 50 Overall Brewing companies by Sales Volume for 2008.

Here’s the Top 20 Overall Brewing companies for 2008. (2007 ranking in parentheses)

  1. Anheuser-Busch Inbev (#1 in 2006 as Anheuser-Busch)
  2. MillerCoors Brewing Co. (#2 Miller / #3 Coors)
  3. Pabst Brewing Co. (4)
  4. Boston Beer Co. (5)
  5. D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. (6)
  6. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (7)
  7. Craft Brewers Alliance (#11 Widmer / #12 Redhook)
  8. New Belgium Brewing Co. Inc. (8)
  9. High Falls Brewing Co. (9)
  10. Spoetzl Brewery (10)
  11. Pyramid Breweries Inc. (13)
  12. Deschutes Brewery, Inc. (16)
  13. Iron City Brewing Co. (17)
  14. Minhas Craft Brewery (15)
  15. Matt Brewing Co. (14)
  16. Boulevard Brewing Co. (18)
  17. Full Sail Brewing Co. (19)
  18. Magic Hat Brewing Co. (22)
  19. Alaskan Brewing Co. (21)
  20. Harpoon Brewery (20)

Except for mergers, there was virtually no movement in the Top 10, and very little in numbers 11 through 20.

Interestingly, because of slots opened up by mergers, no breweries dropped off of the list.

(See Brookston Beer Bulletin for annotations on all 50)