While the beer market may be shrinking, growth for small and independent craft brewers were still steady for the first half of 2019 according to the Brewers Association (BA). While competition is higher than ever and more Americans are turning to other alcoholic beverages, the BA’s new mid-year metrics show the overall production volume of craft brewers is up 4% during the first half of 2019.
More from the Brewers Association report below:
“Growth continues to follow a similar pattern we have seen in the past few years, with steady rates in the low-to-mid single digits,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “The majority of growth continues to come from microbreweries, taprooms, and brewpubs, whereas the distribution landscape remains more challenging for regional craft brewers.”
As of June 30, there were 7,480 active craft breweries, up from 6,464 during a comparable timeframe last year. An estimated 2,500 to 3,000 breweries are in planning, based on active Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) licenses.
“Overall demand for beers from small and independent brewers continues to increase, but at levels that make it difficult for all breweries to grow simultaneously,” added Watson. “This is a sign of a maturing market that will likely continue in the coming years.”
1Craft brewer definition: An American craft brewer is a small and independent brewer. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Brewer: Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice and makes beer.
The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.