American Craft Beer Growth Matures In 2018

“While more mature, the market continues to show demand for small and independent craft brewers,” s –  Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association.

The Brewers Association just released their half-year update on the state of the industry and although brewery growth is still showing impressive numbers, brewery closings are also on the rise

As of June 30, there were a record 6,655 breweries operating in the United States. That’s up from 5,562 during a comparable timeframe last year.

And when you add in an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 breweries in planning, based on Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) license applications, the number of breweries operating in the US as we look to 2019 will continue to show compelling growth.

But the numbers of brewery closing is also growing…Speaking with American Craft Beer, Bart Watson, chief economist for the Boulder-based Brewers Association estimated that the number was might be around “a couple  of hundred” but added that he felt more comfortable looking to the end of the year for a more accurate count.

“The data demonstrate that 2018 is on pace to have the highest number of brewery openings and closings to date. However, even as breweries close, openings continue to far outpace the number that shutter,” added Watson. “New players looking to enter the space should be aware of the constructs of the current landscape, work to differentiate themselves and will need to make quality beer to succeed.”

Production volume for the craft segment increased five percent during the first half of 2018 and although not the kind of double-digit growth the industry used to see, it’s still a solid growth by any metric…

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