The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers, released 2013 data on U.S. craft brewing (1) growth. As a primary driver of growth in the beer industry, craft brewers saw an 18 percent rise in volume (2), representing a total of 15.6 million barrels and a 20 percent increase in retail dollar value.
In 2013, craft brewers reached 7.8 percent volume of the total U.S. beer market, up from 6.5 percent the previous year. Additionally, craft dollar share of the total U.S. beer market reached 14.3 percent in 2013, as retail dollar value from craft brewers was estimated at $14.3 billion, up from $11.9 billion in 2012.
“With this stellar year, craft has now averaged 10.9 percent growth over the last decade,” said Bart Watson, staff economist, Brewers Association. “Beer drinkers are excited about what small and independent brewers are offering and that is evidenced by the rising production and sales of the craft segment.”
Additionally, the number of operating breweries in the United States in 2013 totaled 2,822, with 2,768 of those considered craft, demonstrating that craft breweries make up 98 percent of all U.S. operating breweries. This count includes 413 new brewery openings and 44 closings. Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided 110,273 jobs, an increase of almost 2,000 from the previous year.
“Openings of brewing facilities continue to far outpace closings, demonstrating that the demand for high-quality, local, fuller-flavored beers is only increasing,” added Watson. “The geographic diversity of openings and production growth shows the national nature of this movement. In towns all across the country, craft brewers are creating jobs, delivering innovative products, advancing the beverage of beer and strengthening their local economies.”
Note: Numbers are preliminary. The Brewers Association will release the list of Top 50 craft brewing companies and overall brewing companies by volume sales on March 31. Additionally, a more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver from April 8-11. The full 2013 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2014 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 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 a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.
2 Volume by craft brewers represent total taxable production.