Wednesday, April 10, 2019

What's 'craft' beer worth? Try $27.6 Billion.

This week, a plenitude of American 'craft' brewers are in Denver, Colorado, attending the Craft Brewers Conference/BrewExpo, the industry's annual confabulation, hosted and organized by the [U.S.] Brewers Association in different U.S. cities each year.

In conjunction with that, the BA has released its annual compilation of annual growth data for the U.S. 'craft' brewing industry. Such as:

Craft Beer Production, 2018
In 2018, small and independent brewers collectively produced 25.9 million barrels and realized 4 percent total growth, increasing craft’s overall beer market share by volume to 13.2 percent.

Retail dollar value was estimated at $27.6 billion, representing 24.1 percent market share and 7 percent growth over 2017. Growth for small and independent brewers occurred in an overall down beer market, which dropped 1 percent by volume in 2018. The 50 fastest growing breweries delivered 10 percent of craft brewer growth. Craft brewers provided more than 150,000 jobs, an increase of 11 percent over 2017.

There were 7,346 craft breweries operating in 2018, including 4,521 microbreweries, 2,594 brewpubs, and 231 regional craft breweries. Throughout the year, there were 1,049 new brewery openings and 219 closings—a closing rate of 3 percent.

Craft Breweries, 2018

[These] numbers are preliminary. [...] A more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Denver, Colorado from April 8 – 11, 2019. The full 2018 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2019 issue of The New Brewer, highlighting regional trends and production by individual breweries.

— [U.S.] Brewers Association
2 April 2019

And while I'm at it, here's the BA's super-duper definition of its member breweries, that is, its definition of what a 'craft' brewery is. Note, however, that the BA does not define what a 'craft' beer is.
An American craft brewer is a small and independent brewer.
  • Small:
    Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
  • Independent:
    Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
  • Brewer:
    Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice [Federal license to brew beer commercially] and makes beer.

Trailer for the short, "For the Love of Craft," produced by [U.S.] Brewers Association founder Charlie Papaziaan. The film is to be premiered at the CBC.


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