Craft Up 18% in First Half

Craft brewers (as defined by the Brewers Association) increased volume by 18 percent during the first half of the year.

“From January through the end of June 2014, approximately 10.6 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 9.0 million barrels over the first half of 2013. (Note: The 18 percent growth rate is based on the updated craft brewer definition1 and derived from comparable barrel total from the first half of 2013. Mid-year figures first reported in 2013 were based on the previous craft brewer definition),” the BA said in a statement released today.

“The sustained double-digit growth of the craft category shows the solidity of demand for fuller flavored beer in a variety of styles from small and independent American producers,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Craft brewers are providing world-class, innovative products that continue to excite beer lovers and energize the industry.”

As of June 30, 2014, 3,040 breweries were operating in the U.S., 99 percent of which were small and independent craft breweries. Additionally, there were 1,929 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 110,273 full-time and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

“Coupled with the continued rise in the number of breweries, the market growth of craft brewers highlights the ongoing localization of beer production in the United States,” added Watson. “More and more, people are enjoying the products from America’s small and independent brewers, making this country a true destination for beer.”