Dollar growth up 12% in first six months of 2010; U.S. brewery count climbs by 100 in last year
Boulder, CO • August 2, 2010 – The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, today released strong mid-year numbers for America's small and independent craft brewers¹. Dollar sales were up 12 percent in the first half of 2010, compared to 9 percent growth during the same period in 2009. Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 9 percent for the first six months in 2010, compared to 5 percent growth in the first half of 2009.
Craft breweries continue to grow despite many challenges, and currently provide an estimated 100,000 jobs and contribute significantly to the U.S. economy. Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year are an estimated 4.6 million, compared to 4.2 million barrels sold in the first half of 2009.
“While craft brewer sales volume climbed 9 percent in the first half of 2010, overall U.S. beer industry volume sales are down 2.7 percent so far,” noted Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “There is a movement by beer lovers to the innovative and flavorful beers created by America’s small and independent craft brewers. More people are starting to think of craft-brewed beer first when they buy in restaurants, bars and stores.”
The U.S. now boasts 1,625 breweries—an increase of 100 additional breweries since July of 2009—and the highest number in 100 years. A century ago in 1910, consolidation and the run-up to Prohibition had reduced the number of breweries to 1,498.
“Entrepreneurs across the land are creating jobs by opening new microbreweries and brewpubs, and we are also seeing many homebrewing hobbyists going pro by starting what have been referred to as nanobreweries,” Gatza added. “Super tiny microbreweries or brew pubs, that make beer for a very localized network of taverns and stores, are starting to become a trend, primarily in the states that allow self-distribution as a means of getting beer to market.”
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Headlines from stories on beer and craft brewers in the first half of 2010 include:
- Craft Beers Grow in Popularity (CBS Evening News)
- Brew Pubs Are Big Business (Journal Register News Service)
- Frothy Sales for Craft Beers (CNN Money)
¹ The definition of a craft brewer as stated by the Brewers Association: An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Small: Annual production of beer less than 2 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.
Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director
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Barbara Fusco, Sales & Marketing Director
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Based in Boulder, Colorado, USA, the Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade and education association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The association's activities include events and publishing: CraftBeer.com, World Beer Cup®; Great American Beer Festival℠; Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®; National Homebrewers Conference; National Homebrew Competition; SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience; American Craft Beer Week; Zymurgy magazine; The New Brewer magazine; and books on beer and brewing. The Brewers Association has an additional membership division of 22,000+ homebrewers: American Homebrewers Association.
Consumers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com.