Craft Beer Enjoys Strong Summer Sales

Scan data through July shows 7.8% growth

Craft beer sales continued a strong growth pattern into the summer season, showing even stronger growth than last year, when craft beer out-performed all other segments of the alcohol beverage industry.

Scan data collected by IRI showed a 7.8% increase in dollar sales for the craft segment for the year to date through August 9, 2005. Scan data, collected from off-premise chain store accounts nationwide tends to be slightly lower than the overall growth numbers of category for craft beers.

As reported in ProBrewer in July, first half numbers collected for the craft industry as a whole by the Brewers Association pegged the overall growth rate at more than 7.0%

These numbers show that craft beers held their own and then some during a summer plagued by intense price competition among the major brewers and brutal heat across much of the county.

“Craft beers continue to gain in popularity across the US,” said Bump Williams, , Executive Vice President, General Manager Global Consulting – Beverage Alcohol, at Information Resources, Inc (IRI). “Thirteen of the top 15 craft beers have enjoyed positive dollar and volume trends year-to-date and it appears that there is no end in sight to their success.”

Craft beer holds its own against wine and spirits as well. According to the IRI data, sales of domestic wine grew 9.3 percent through food and drug outlets and spirits grew by 7.0 percent in these channels. Collectively, the IRI data show that craft beer continues to perform well against all other beverage alcohol categories.

“Many craft brewers reported shipments at an all time high this summer in addition to strong first half results,” said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association. “Overall the segment continues to thrive.”