Introducing the Beer Industry Data Sets Resource Page

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This post is to introduce and briefly describe a new Industry Data Sets resource page that we have added for Brewers Association (BA) members.

The BA has long done our own data collection, primarily in areas where other data doesn’t exist. These include our annual craft brewing industry production data set and our benchmarking data, measuring internal metrics from craft breweries. Both of those data sets will continue to exist on their respective sections of the website.

The new page is something different. For my own analysis, as well as for the benefit of members, I’ve long gathered and tracked other data sets relevant to the beer industry. Up until now, they’ve never really had a home. If you emailed me a question that one of them would be useful in answering, I’d send it to you, but there wasn’t a systematic program behind compiling and making these data sets available to members. This page is the next evolution in making that data consistently and easily available to BA members.

There are three areas these data sets cover:

Market Research Data

These are typically stand alone reports compiled by data and analysis companies working in the beer or consumer product space.

The research I’m most excited about here is the craft beer snapshot from Nielsen. This report, which we plan to update quarterly, is an exclusive benefit for BA members. The report looks at the total U.S., regions, and key beer states. Each snapshot will include insights related to independent craft brands and styles, along with a broader view of the craft and beer industry. Brewers should benefit from a more informed perspective in creating their own sales stories.

The Market Research data tab also contains reports from Nielsen CGA (who analyzes the on-premise market), the IRI Group, and Social Standards, a company that tracks consumer preferences by analyzing social media posts. Each tell a different picture of what is going on with the U.S. beer market.

Going forward, we hope to continue to fill out this page with similar resources, and I’ll work to build in the ability to share any data the BA buys with our members in future data purchases.

Federal Economic and Demographic Data

Your tax dollars go to a lot of things, but a very, very small sliver of them go to some of the best data collection efforts in the world. Although all of this data is already publicly available, government data sites aren’t always the easiest to navigate, so I’ve compiled some of the data sets I use the most from various federal government sources. I’ll update these periodically.

Although I don’t think they’re going to be immediately applicable to most members, over time they often contain key insights into the demographic or economic shifts that underpin changes in the beer market.

State Excise Tax Reports

Because beer is a regulated industry, there are also a variety of state data sets covering production and excise tax payments. I use these data sets for market analysis, as well as to verify the production data we receive in our annual survey, but they are also likely to be helpful for any members that want to do their own analysis on their local market.

These data sets vary in what they cover. For example, the Oregon data set is very comprehensive, but only covers sales in Oregon, so it isn’t useful if you want to know the total production of Oregon breweries (though you can get that from some of the federal data described above). Some of them have license names, not brewery names. Some of them include other types of producers or wholesalers.

I’ve presented these data sets as they come directly from the states. Although there might be additional benefit in cleaning them, many of those updates are already reflected in the data available to BA members. In addition, because these data sets often contain breweries that chose to be “do not publish” in our annual survey, I don’t feel comfortable cleaning to the point where those numbers become too easily accessible.

If you have questions about what a particular state data set represents, don’t hesitate to reach out to me (and the state will typically be happy to walk you through a report).

Members can use these sets for a variety of more in-depth analysis. The California data set breaks out production by at-the-brewery, distributed case, and distributed keg. The Florida data set is at-the-brewery sales. The Wisconsin data set has in-state and out-of-state sales broken apart. Not every data set will be helpful for every question, but in their totality, they provide a lot of different ways to look at the evolving U.S. beer market.

See Something Missing? Let Me Know!

In all, I hope you find these data sets to be another added value from your Brewers Association membership. I’m hoping to deepen this page over time, so if you’re aware of a resource that is missing that you’d like to see (and we are allowed to share), let me know. Happy analyzing!