The Brewers Association reported today that craft beer sales and growth continue to break records. The volume of craft beer sold in the first half of 2007 rose 11% compared to this same period in 2006 and dollar growth increased 14%. For the first time ever craft beer has exceeded more than a 5% dollar share of total beer sales.
Overall, the U.S. beer industry sold one million more barrels in the first half of 2007 compared to 2006, with 400,000 of these new barrels produced by craft breweries. This equates to 3.768 million barrels of craft beer sold in the first two quarters of 2007 compared to 3.368 million barrels sold in the first half of 2006.
Scan data from Information Resources, Inc. provide additional data points that confirm strength for the segment. Craft beer sales in the supermarket channel through July 15th, 2007 showed a 17.4% increase in dollar sales compared to the same period in 2006. This growth in sales was higher than any other alcohol beverage category.
“The 1,400 small, independent and traditional craft brewers in the U.S. have hit their stride,” said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association.”United States craft brewers are making many of the world’s best beers, and the marketplace is responding.”
Coupled with the growth statistics has been a tidal wave of media coverage in the first half of 2007 including NBC’s Today Show on July 3 stating, “Beer is the new wine and can go with just about any food.” Additionally, Gallup, in its latest poll on alcohol beverages, announced for the second straight year that “Beer Again Edges Out Wine as Americans’ Drink of Choice.”