(Boulder, CO) – The Brewers Association just issued a press release with data on American craft beer’s 2012 growth and it’s mind-boggling! In a year when the total U.S. beer market grew by one percent, craft brewers saw a 15 percent rise in volume and a 17 percent increase in dollar growth, representing a total barrel increase of almost 1.8 million.
With production at 13,235,917 barrels in 2012, craft brewers reached 6.5 percent volume of the total U.S. beer market, up from 5.7 percent the previous year. Additionally, craft dollar share of the total U.S. beer market reached 10.2 percent in 2012, as retail dollar value from craft brewers was estimated at $10.2 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2011.
In 2012, there was an 18 percent increase in the number of U.S. operating breweries, with the total count reaching 2,403. The count includes 409 new brewery openings and only 43 closings. Small breweries created an estimated 4,857 more jobs during the year, employing 108,440 workers, compared to 103,583 the year prior
Although the Brewers Association is saying that these are only preliminary numbers and that more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, DC, -these are impressive numbers that will be widely reported and speaks to continuing strength of craft beer in America.