2021 Beer Industry Production Survey: FAQs

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The Brewers Association (BA) released the results of its annual production survey today. The following is a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the report.

What is the methodology for these numbers?

We open a survey for every brewery in the country asking for their taxable production, then fill in the blanks for every brewery that doesn’t respond with either a number from a state report or an estimate (previously reported data, comparable brewery trends by size or type, media or brewery reports, or other sources).

Is it just Brewers Association members?

No, we open the survey to all U.S. brewers and the numbers reported are for the total craft segment, regardless of membership.

What percentage of the volume was reported this year?

66.6% of the total craft volume was reported. Another 7.6% was taken from state excise tax reports. The final 25.7% was estimated from other sources.
Our reported volume showed a change of 8.2%. The data from state reports was 10.9%. Estimated values were 6.4%. Because several large states provided only partial reports (Michigan, Texas, and Oregon were the main three), this creates the possibility of revisions as those full reports become available.

How confident are you in your estimates?

The individual estimates likely include a fair amount of error on average, but we are confident that those errors largely cancel in the aggregate, and have a great deal of faith in the aggregated totals. State totals are checked against TTB production numbers and total category numbers checked against other measures.
For example, using onsite sales numbers from the TTB, on-premise BA-defined craft data from CGA Nielsen, and BA-defined craft data from IRI Group weighted by their 2020 volume share (12.4%, 13.5%, and 74.1%, respectively) also gives 8%.
We do make small revisions to the previous year numbers when new data becomes available. For example, this year we have adjusted our 2020 growth estimate down to -10%, from the -9% reported last year.

The volumes you are reporting for 2020 and 2021 don’t line up with the growth numbers you are reporting. Why?

The total craft numbers may be apples to oranges because of changes in the craft data set (due to large brewer acquisitions, etc.). The growth numbers are presented on a comparable apples to apples basis. So, the growth numbers reflect breweries that were in the data set both years.

Do these numbers include flavored malt beverages, hard seltzers, cider, or other beverage alcohol?

We ask brewers not to include these in their numbers. While it’s possible that some non-beer volume does get included, we work to report just on the beer volumes of the breweries involved. We ask separately about non-beer and distilled spirits and will be presenting those numbers to members during the Craft Brewers Conference® (CBC).

When will the full numbers be published?

National numbers are being updated on the site today, state data should be up in the next week, and the full data set will be available to BA members when the May/June The New Brewer ships, likely in early May.

Will you have more analysis of these numbers?

Members attending CBC should attend Bart Watson’s State of the Industry presentation during General Session I and watch for more analysis in the Insights and Analysis section of the BA website.