It’s easy to feel the rising tide of craft beer as more and more bars turn over their taps to locally made, small-batch brews. But you never really know what’s going on at a national level until you see the facts—as Jay-Z says, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.”
Today, the Brewers Association put out a press release with the real numbers reflecting the growth of the craft-beer industry in 2012, and they’re pretty impressive. Some highlights:
- Craft breweries represented 6.5% of the U.S. beer market, up from 5.7% in 2012
- There are now 2,347 craft breweries operating across the country (out of 2,403 total breweries)—an 18% increase
- The retail dollar value from craft brewers was estimated at $10.2 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2011
Beer writer Andy Crouch put the growth in perspective:
You can read the release for yourself below:
Boulder, CO • March 18, 2013— The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing small and independent American brewers, today released 2012 data on U.S. craft brewing1 growth. In a year when the total U.S. beer market grew by one percent, craft brewers saw a 15 percent rise in volume2 and a 17 percent increase in dollar growth, representing a total barrel increase of almost 1.8 million.
With production at 13,235,917 barrels in 2012, craft brewers reached 6.5 percent volume of the total U.S. beer market, up from 5.7 percent the previous year. Additionally, craft dollar share of the total U.S. beer market reached 10.2 percent in 2012, as retail dollar value from craft brewers was estimated at $10.2 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2011.
“Beer is a $99 billion industry to which craft brewers are making a significant contribution, with retail sales share hitting double digits for the first time in 2012,” said Paul Gatza, director, Brewers Association. “Small and independent brewers are consistently innovating and producing high quality, flavor-forward craft brewed beer. Americans are not only responding to greater access to these products, but also to the stories and people behind them.”
In 2012, there was an 18 percent increase in the number of U.S. operating breweries, with the total count reaching 2,403. This count includes 409 new brewery openings and only 43 closings. Small breweries created an estimated 4,857 more jobs during the year, employing 108,440 workers, compared to 103,583 the year prior.
“On average, we are seeing slightly more than one craft brewery per day opening somewhere in the U.S. and we anticipate even more in the coming year. There is clearly a thirst in the marketplace for craft brewed beer, as indicated by the continued growth year after year,” added Gatza. “These small breweries are doing great things for their local communities, the greater community of craft brewers, our food arts culture and the overall economy.”
[via Brewers Association]