Bart Watson

Bart Watson, Chief Economist for the Brewers Association, is a stats geek, beer lover, and Certified Cicerone®. He holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where in addition to his dissertation, he completed a comprehensive survey of Bay Area brewpubs one pint at a time. You can follow him on Twitter @BrewersStats.

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Marijuana and the Beer Industry

There have been some reports in recent weeks which suggest that marijuana legalization is creating some drag on beer sales in states like Colorado, Washington, and Oregon (and there have also been reports arguing the …More

Premiumization, Prices, and Positioning

The beer business is currently experiencing what is often referred to as a “premiumization” trend, or a period where beer lovers trade up across the beer aisle. This isn’t the first premiumization trend beer has seen, as the dominant brands of today rose to prominence in a similar trend—hence the …More

2016 GABF Medal Winners Analyzed

Another year, another record number of entries for the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition. Once again, all 50 states entered the competition with 19 states sending more than 100 entries—up from 18 states in 2015. In …More

Has the Slowdown in Growth Continued?

Q3 Update The mid-year production survey made clear that craft brewing growth has slowed in 2016, but did that deceleration continue in the third quarter of the year? The answer is complicated, and illustrates the difficulty in nailing …More

Colorado Brewery Licenses – October 2016

A map of the 364 active brewery licenses in Colorado. Data comes from the Colorado Department of Revenue. While all of these licenses are active, many breweries shown on the map may still be in …More

Breweries: A New Epicenter of On-Premise Growth?

I’ve written extensively about the importance of taprooms for many breweries’ business models. What I’ve never written before is how important they are becoming for overall craft growth. Through the first six months of the …More

Brewery Number Built on Consumer Demand

Despite a decade of success, I STILL get calls asking if the current growth in the craft industry is a bubble. Since apparently no number of “non-bubble” posts can dispel this notion, for this post …More

Examining 2016 Mid-Year Craft Brewer Trends

Craft Update: Q2 2016 The results of the Brewers Association mid-year survey were announced today, with an estimate of 8 percent growth in the first half of the year. Although the top level number is interesting …More

Scan Data as a Measure of Craft Growth

In preparation for the BA’s annual mid-year release, I’ve been evaluating various data sources to fill in gaps in our survey collection. Because we typically receive fewer responses to our mid-year survey, it becomes more …More