Yesterday, I outlined the mechanics of coming up with our small and independent craft brewery growth numbers. Today, I have written two posts. This one is a quick hit highlighting some themes that emerged while analyzing the growth figures. For members, I have a more in-depth version of this post that breaks out the data in much more detail and with more analysis.
Here are the headlines:
- Regional craft brewers were static in 2018
- Microbreweries contributed 80 percent of the craft category’s total growth, up from 60 percent in 2017
- Brewpubs had a solid year—up 13 percent, accounting for about 20 percent of total growth
- The members-only post breaks these numbers down more by size within each category
- At-the-brewery sales for craft brewers grew about 400,000 barrels to around 3-3.1 million barrels
- These sales represented 40 percent of craft category growth in 2018
- The members-only post breaks these sales down by size and business model and delves more into how we compile these numbers as well as year-over-year growth for breweries who provided onsite sales data
- Per-brewer growth percentages were fairly similar to 2017
- Looking in absolute terms, most breweries produced similar levels to 2017
- Growth came from new entrants and a distribution that tilted toward small increases over small decreases
- The members-only post has more specific data and analysis about what these patterns mean
Craft has settled into a more mature growth pattern and is unlikely to return to the meteoric growth levels seen over the past decade.