The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) — which represents the interests of America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributors — applauds America’s craft brewers for their continued growth and entrepreneurial spirit, which adds energy and excitement to the American beer industry.
According to mid-year data released by the Brewers Association (BA), craft brewers enjoyed continued growth as American craft beer production volume increased 18 percent during the first half of 2014. According to the BA, from January through the end of June 2014, approximately 10.6 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 9 million barrels over the first half of 2013. BA-defined craft beer has averaged nearly 11 percent growth each year over the past decade.
The BA also reported that, as of June 30, 2014, there were 3,040 breweries operating in the United States, with 99 percent being craft breweries. That number includes 502 new breweries that opened for business in 2014 across the country.
“Craft beer continues to provide a significant contribution to the American beer industry,” said NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser. “NBWA is proud of the role that independent beer distributors play to help the craft beer industry thrive. The tremendous growth in craft beer sales underscores the excitement of independent beer distributors in partnering with America’s craft brewers to help them reach a wide network of retailers and increase their value.”
“This success is due in large part to the effectiveness of the independent distribution system that allows access to market for brewers of all sizes and a state-based regulatory system that works to level the playing field between brewers, distributors and retailers,” Purser continued. “Today’s marketplace offers an unparalleled number of styles, varieties and flavors of beer to consumers from coast to coast. American consumers continue to demonstrate that they enjoy this vast variety.”
America’s beer distributors directly employ more than 130,000 people and add $54 billion to the economic output of the United States.