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.

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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.

Brewers Association Announces 2008 Craft Brewer Sales Numbers (press release)

For Immediate Release

Julia Herz
303.447.0816 x113
julia@brewersassociation.org
www.beertown.org

Brewers Association Announces 2008 Craft Brewer Sales Numbers

Today’s Beer and Wine Drinkers Moving to Full Flavor Craft Beer and Buying Closer to Home While Small Brewers Gain Alcohol Market Share

Boulder, CO – Monday, February 23, 2009 – The Brewers Association, which tabulates industry growth data for U.S. breweries, announced that today’s small independent craft brewers are gaining alcohol market share due to a shift toward full flavor beer and increased support for local breweries. From 2007 to 2008, estimated sales by craft brewers were up 5.8 percent by volume and 10.5 percent in dollars¹. Overall share of the beer category from craft brewers was 4.0 percent of production and 6.3 percent of retail sales. More than 1 million new barrels of beer were sold in 2008, and close to half of those barrels were beer from craft brewers.

“2008 was a historic year for beer with the large brewers consolidating and imports losing share, while the top ten selling beer brands dropped in sales. At the same time, small independent craft brewers continued to gain share and attention,” said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association.

Download a high resolution version of this image.

With total U.S. beer being more than a $100 billion industry, the Brewers Association estimates the actual dollar sales from craft brewers in 2008 were $6.34 billion, up from $5.74 billion in 2007. Taxable barrels of the total beer category was 1,210,018 more in 2008 with craft brewers producing 473,364 of those barrels. Total craft brewer barrels for 2008 was 8,596,971, up from 8,123,607 barrels in 2007.

Beer’s popularity as America’s favorite fermented beverage continued in 2008 with Gallup stating “beer is back to a double-digit lead over wine.” Taking into account the challenges in today’s economy, BevincoNielsen released a survey showing beer was faring better than spirits, with wine lagging. The Brewers Association emphasized trading across from wine and spirits to beer continues, with some of today’s wine drinkers discovering the affordable enjoyment and rewards of craft beer.

These increases in share and barrels for craft brewers come at a time when, according to the Brewers Association, the cost of operating a small brewery increased over 39 percent in the period of November 2007 to November 2008. The Brewers Association states that today’s craft brewers face many challenges including:

  • Access to ingredients and raw materials
  • Increased pricing for materials and supplies
  • Access to market (competition for shelf space at the retail level)

For more statistics visit 2008 Craft Beer Industry Statistics. A more extensive analysis will be released April 22 during the Craft Brewers Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. The Association’s full 2008 industry analysis, which shows regional trends and sales by individual brewery, will be published in the May/June issue of The New Brewer.

 
¹Sales by craft brewers represent total taxable production. Dollars reported by Information Resources Inc. for total U.S. supermarkets.

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 2 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% 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% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.

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Based in Boulder, Colorado, USA, the Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade and education association for American small and independent brewers and the community of beer enthusiasts. Visit the Web site, www.beertown.org, to learn more. The association’s activities include events and publishing: World Beer Cup®; Great American Beer Festival sm; Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®; National Homebrewers Conference; National Homebrew Competition; SAVOR: an American Craft Beer and Food Experience ; American Craft Beer Week; Zymurgy magazine; The New Brewer magazine; and books on beer and brewing. The Brewers Association has an additional membership division of 17,000+ homebrewers:  American Homebrewers Association.

Press release: Redhook Long Hammer IPA Gets a New Look

Nation’s Most Popular IPA Continues to Lure Fans to the Hop Side

WOODINVILLE, Wash. – June 26, 2008 – Redhook Ale Brewery today announced new packaging for its Long Hammer IPA, the nation’s number-one selling India Pale Ale. With a smooth, clean finish, Long Hammer IPA embraces the traditional strong hop profile, while remaining approachable and easy to drink.

“With our rich history in the Pacific Northwest and a long-standing commitment to consistently high quality craft brews, our fans have come to expect a lot from Redhook,” said Doug MacNair, brew master for Redhook Ale Brewery. “We’ve worked hard to perfect the art of crafting an ideal IPA every beer drinker can appreciate. We’ve mastered the technique of dry-hopping Long Hammer with Cascade hops at the end of our brewing process to impart a wonderful aroma without creating an overpowering taste.”

Long Hammer’s approachability is reflected in the new packaging, scheduled to hit store shelves in late July and early August. The new look is bright, bold and clean and will continue to focus on the iconic hammer emblem. Redhook Long Hammer IPA is available in 22 oz. bottles in select states, as well as in 12 oz. bottles and on draft nationwide.

In addition to Long Hammer IPA, packaging for the other Redhook craft beer varieties will be redesigned as well, appearing on shelves late summer.

About Redhook Ale Brewery, Inc.
A leading independent brewer, Redhook Ale Brewery has been at the forefront of the domestic craft brewing segment since the company’s formation in 1981. Redhook brews eight styles of craft beer, including: Long Hammer IPA (the number one IPA in the country), Redhook ESB, Redhook Blonde Ale, Blackhook Porter, and seasonal offerings Copperhook Spring Ale, Sunrye Summer Ale, Late Harvest Autumn Ale and Winterhook Winter Ale. All beer is brewed exclusively in its company-owned breweries – one in the Seattle suburb of Woodinville, Wash., and the other in Portsmouth, N.H. Redhook’s specialty beers are available in both draft and bottles and are distributed nationally through a network of wholesale distributors. For more information, visit www.redhook.com.