Hey, we’re big in Japan. The Brewers Association (BA) just confirmed. Yesterday, the not-for-profit trade group reported that export growth data for the American craft beer industry in 2016 rose to its highest level ever. Supported by the BA’s Export Development Program (EDP), craft beer export volume increased by 4.4 percent in 2016, now totaling 465,617 barrels and worth $121 million. And yeah, the Japanese lead the growth charge (no wonder Kirin and Brooklyn Brewery are working together).
Growth was seen in major markets, most notably in the Asia-Pacific region (not including Japan) which grew 12.9 percent. Japan, alone, increased by an astounding 22.6 percent. Meanwhile, Canada was again the leading international market for American craft beer, accounting for 54.8 percent of total exports. Other leading importers were the United Kingdom, accounting for 10.1 percent; Sweden, 6.6 percent; Australia, with 4.6 percent; and China, with 3.2 percent of exports.
From the press release:
“This year’s export data demonstrates that demand is continuing to strengthen for small and independent craft brewers worldwide,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “We are proud to be able to open and expand international access to craft beer through the Export Development Program. Just as these brewers have succeeded in elevating craft beer in the U.S., they are now doing the same on a global scale – sharing America’s love for these diverse and innovative flavors the world over.”
So while growth in regional markets around America becomes tougher, opportunity does lay abroad for the bold and business savvy.