Craft beer sales are continuing to grow, but are still short of pre-pandemic levels according to Bart Watson, Chief Economist for the Brewers Association.
“The short summary of July-September is that small brewers saw better sales than Q2, but levels that still fall far short of 2019,” Bart wrote in his blog today. “We can see this pattern (improvement to levels that still lag last year) in nearly every data set.”
Some key data points include;
- Brewery onsite beer sales volume down an average of -25% in Q3 versus last year
- Brewpubs reporting food volume down -25%
- About 10% of respondents to a BA survey indicated they sold beer to-go or direct delivery to consumer for the first time this year
- Medium growth of packaged beer sold to off-premise retail accounts was up 42%
Bart quoted one survey respondent as saying, “Taproom consumption down. To-go sales way up. Bar and restaurant business way down. Store sales way up. Event business way down. Overall, revenues are up, but profits are down due to the reduction in consumption at the taproom and onsite and offsite events.”
The year of COVID-19 for the craft brewing industry seems to be perfectly encapsulated in that one sentence. Do you agree? Join the conversation here at the ProBrewer Discussion Boards.
See Bart’s full blog post with more statistics here.