American craft beers sales continued to surge in 2006, with volume sales up 11.7%. The increase came on top of a 9% gain in volume in 2005 and 7.2% in 2005.
“American tastes are clearly changing thus the demand for more flavorful and diverse beers is exploding,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, which tabulates industry growth data.
The Brewers Association estimates 2006 sales by craft brewers at more than 6 million barrels (one barrel equals 31 U.S. gallons). The increase totals over 690,000 barrels or 9.5 million case-equivalents. For 2006 craft beer posted a retail sales figure of $4.2 billion.