New Brewery Operations Benchmarking Data

The Brewers Association (BA) recently conducted its bi-annual comprehensive survey of America’s craft brewers to establish and share industry benchmarks and brewery operations data. This survey was developed in response to BA member requests for data that they could use to measure their businesses and in turn make them more efficient and successful. The latest data can be found here. Note: The page and the benchmarking data are members only.

A huge thanks to the more than 300 breweries that filled out at least a portion of the extensive survey. While the survey was time consuming, I hope you find the results a valuable use of your limited time.

2014 survey questions were revised slightly from the 2012 and 2010 editions. Results were cleaned, compiled and aggregated by BA staff. The results provide a valuable set of tools specific to America’s small and independent craft brewers.

The data has been compiled and presented in a spreadsheet format with 33 tabs, most containing multiple tables. The topics covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Salary and bonus information for full-time and part-time production and non-production workers
  • Information about package and draught production mix and format trends
  • Data on distribution, including footprints and incentives
  • Sales, tours, and marking information
  • Brewpub and tasting room sales information
  • Financials, including revenue and COGs information
  • Brewery operations data, including fermentation times, quality insurance, filtration, and more.

The majority of the data is separated into brewpub and production brewery categories, as well as by the size of annual production. As sample size increases, the data is presented in narrower production categories. That makes the results highly targeted by business model and production size.

The BA received usable responses to all or part of the survey from 310 unique breweries (though most questions have fewer total responses). This includes brewers from 46 states, so the survey had a broad geographic coverage. Although brewers were on average slightly larger than the BA members on average, because responses are “stratified” (i.e. broken up into) groups based on business model and size, this is only a concern when results for all breweries are presented. Breaking results apart by business model and size eliminates some worries that over-representation by larger breweries will skew the data.

Thanks again to the survey participants. To all brewers, I hope you find value in these results to help you grow with the industry. This is, indeed, an exciting time to be a part of the craft beer community!

Download the 2014 data.

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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