According to the nonprofit Brewers Association based in Boulder, CO, Craft brewers increased their market share of the American beer industry in 2014.
The trade association, representing small and independent American craft brewers, released 2014 data on U.S. craft brewing growth. For the first time, craft brewers reached 11 percent volume share of the marketplace.
In 2014, craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels, and had an 18 percent rise in volume and a 22 percent increase in retail dollar value. Retail dollar value was estimated at $19.6 billion, representing 19.3 percent market share.
“With the total beer market up only 0.5 percent in 2014, craft brewers are key in keeping the overall industry innovative and growing,” said Bart Watson, chief economist for the association. “This steady growth shows that craft brewing is part of a profound shift in American beer culture — a shift that will help craft brewers achieve their ambitious goal of 20 percent market share by 2020.”
The number of operating breweries in the United States in 2014 increased 19 percent to 3,464 breweries, with 3,418 considered craft broken down as follows: 1,871 microbreweries, 1,412 brewpubs and 135 regional craft breweries. Throughout the year, there were 615 new brewery openings and 46 closings.
Combined with existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided 115,469 jobs, an increase of almost 5,000 from the previous year.
“These small businesses are one of the bright spots in both our economy and culture. Craft brewers are serving their local communities, brewing up jobs and boosting tourism,” Watson said. “Craft brewers are creating high quality, differentiated beers; new brewers that match this standard will be welcomed in the market with open arms.”
The Brewers Association will release the list of Top 50 craft brewing companies and overall brewing companies by volume sales March 31. A more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America in Portland, Ore., April 14-17. The full 2014 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2015 issue of The New Brewer, highlighting regional trends and production by individual breweries.