UPDATE: On Twitter, Brian Murphy, the director of sales and marketing for the Massachusetts Beverage Alliance, told us that these numbers are even higher at last check, coming in closer to 16.5 or 17 percent market share.
Massachusetts continues to demonstrate enormous support for craft and specialty import beers, with those categories now comprising nearly 15.5 percent of total beer sales volume in the Commonwealth, more than double the national average, reports the Massachusetts Beverage Alliance (the MBA), a collaboration of five separate wholesale beer distributors who now represent more than a dozen world-class breweries throughout the region.
New data reveals that total beer sales in Massachusetts grew by 2.2 percent, or 90,757 barrels (bbls) in 2012, to a total of just under 4.17-million bbls. Nearly 82 percent of the total growth was concentrated in the craft (+66,565 bbls) category.
New for 2013, the MBA has announced distribution partnerships with four new breweries, bringing its total portfolio to fourteen:
Newburyport Brewing Co. — Newburyport, Mass. — A brand new brick and mortar facility in Newburyport, the company is Massachusetts’ only exclusive “keg and can” craft brewery. It has three styles that will be available year round: Newburyport Pale Ale, Plum Island Belgian White and Green Head IPA, all available in draft and six pack 12-ounce cans. Suggested retail price on 6-packs cans is $9.49.
Glutenberg — Montreal, Quebec, Canada — This Canadian craft brewery produces gluten-free beers exclusively. They swept awards in the 2012 World Beer Cup Gluten-free category and will introduce all three medal winners to the states of Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont beginning in April. The three styles that will be available include Glutenberg Red Ale (Gold Medal), Glutenberg American Pale Ale (Silver Medal) and Glutenberg Blonde Ale (Bronze Medal). All will be available in four pack 16-ounce cans with a suggested retail price of $10.99.
Grey Sail Brewing Co. of Rhode Island — Westerly, R.I. — Two year-round styles will be available in both 6-pack 12-ounce cans and draft. Flying Jenny Extra Pale Ale and Flagship Cream Ale will have a suggested price of $9.49 per 6-pack. There will also be seasonal-related selections available in limited quantities including Hazy Day Belgian Wit, Leaning Chimney Smoked Porter and Autumn Winds Fest Beer.
Foolproof Brewing Co. — Pawtucket, R.I. — Foolproof will offer three year-round styles in draft and 6-pack 12-ounce cans plus limited releases in draft and 22-ounce bottles throughout the year. The thee year-round styles are American Barstool Golden Ale, Backyahd IPA and Raincloud Robust Porter. These will be a suggested retail price of $9.49 per 6-pack.
The Massachusetts Beverage Alliance LLC is a network of like-minded beer distributors who share the mission of providing, promoting and building quality craft and specialty import beer throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Alliance’s network consists of five wholesale partners — Atlas Distributing Inc., Burke Distributing, Colonial Wholesale Beverage, Commercial Distributing Co. and Merrimack Valley Distributing Co.