Friday, December 15, 2017

The BA's 2017 Beer in Review (sort of)

The [U.S.] Brewers Association (BA) —"the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers"— has released an end-of-year summary, looking "back on the defining beer moments of the year."

But... NOT included were any actual numbers for production, depletions, or sales (other than the amount of homebrew produced) for 2017. Of course, there are two more weeks of sales to go before the year is out, including Christmas which is the 4th highest holiday period for off-the-premises sales.

Here's a partial summary of the BA's summary:

☞ There were 6,000 breweries in operation during 2017—with 98 percent of them small and independent craft brewers.

☞ At present, 83 percent of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a local brewery.

☞ 'Craft' breweries contributed $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016, a 21.7 percent increase from 2014. [2017?]

☞ in 2016, 'craft' breweries were responsible for more than 456,373 full-time equivalent jobs, a 7.5 percent increase from 2014, with 128,768 of those jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs. [2017?]

☞ More than 2,700 small and independent 'craft' brewing companies, representing more than 75 percent of domestic volume, have signed on to use the Independent Craft Brewer Seal, informing beer lovers they are choosing a beer from a brewery that is independently owned. [But how many actual breweries? Most are small.]

☞ The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) has been added as an amendment to the larger Senate Tax Reform Bill. If passed, it would significantly reduce the federal excise tax on the first 60,000 barrels of any domestic brewery that produces fewer than 2 million barrels a year and would lower the federal excise tax on barrelage up to 6 million barrels.

☞ There are currently an estimated 1.1 million homebrewers in the U.S. In 2017, they produced more than 1.4 million barrels of beer—equaling one percent of total U.S. beer production. The National Homebrew Competition, hosted by the American Homebrewers Association, continues to be the world’s largest beer competition, this year with 8,618 entries from 3,530 homebrewers worldwide.

☞ The average 'craft' beer drinker visits 3.5 breweries near their homes and 2.5 breweries within two hours’ driving distance.

☞ American 'craft' breweries donated an estimated $73.4 million to charitable causes in 2016, up from $71 million in 2014. [2017?]

2017 Craft Beer in Review

  • This post originally appeared on YFGF's Facebook page: YoursForGoodFermentables/.
  • Read the full press release from the BA: here.
  • At Beervana, Jeff Alworth provided some sobering (pun intended) analysis of end-of-year sales.
    When numbers finally come in, they're likely to show that the craft segment continued to expand in 2017, but more slowly than in recent years. The most recent numbers, which tracked sales through the start of November, puts that growth at just under 4%. [...] The bigger issue is that the growth isn't evenly spread among breweries. Smaller and mid-sized breweries continue to post growth, while larger independent ones are often struggling.
  • Brewing giant Miller Coors with skin in the 'craft' game, sees slowing 'craft' sales:
    On average, U.S. craft brewer revenue grew 16.1 percent annually between 2008 and 2016. But craft sales decelerated significantly in 2016 to 5.4 percent, according to IBIS figures cited by Stifel’s Mark Swartzberg in a report issued last week. “And as the market for craft beer becomes saturated, industry revenue is projected to slow to an annualized growth rate of 4.4 percent between 2017 and 2021,” Swartzberg writes, again sourcing IBIS data.

  • For more from YFGF:

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