American Craft Beer Grows In 2018

The beer landscape is facing new realities with category competition, societal shifts, and other variables in play.” –  Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association.

The Brewers Association, the trade association representing America’s small and independent brewers just released its annual growth figures for the US craft brewing industry. And overall growth in the sector continues to rise.

This from the just released report…

“In 2018, small and independent brewers collectively produced 25.9 million barrels and realized 4 percent total growth,  increasing craft’s overall beer market share by volume to 13.2 percent.“

“Retail dollar value was estimated at $27.6 billion, representing 24.1 percent market share and 7 percent growth over 2017. Growth for small and independent brewers occurred in an overall down beer market, which dropped 1 percent by volume in 2018.”

 “The 50 fastest growing breweries delivered 10 percent of craft brewer growth. Craft brewers provided more than 150,000 jobs, an increase of 11 percent over 2017.”

Brewery numbers remain at an all-time high capping out at 7,346 craft breweries operating in 2018. 1,049 new brewery openings last year and 219 breweries closed…a closing rate of 3 percent.

This from Bart Watson, the chief economist at the Brewers Association….

“Craft maintained a fairly stable growth rate in 2018 and continued to gain share in the beer market. Small and independent brewers continue to serve as job creators, strong economic contributors, and community beacons.”

 “There are still pockets of opportunity both in terms of geography and business model, but brewers need to be vigilant about quality, differentiation, and customer service.”

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