If you’re a craft beer lover looking for something to toast today, how about this: craft beer made up 11 percent of total beer sales in the U.S. in 2014, according to the Brewers Association. This is the first year ever that craft beer has reached double digits in terms of volume share of the marketplace; it was just 7.8 percent in 2013. Big news.
If that’s not enough to make you want to celebrate, how about this: According to the Brewers Association, last year craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels and saw an 18 percent rise in volume. Since the 2014 total beer market only rose 0.5 percent, the Brewers Association’s chief economist, Bart Watson, had this to say:
As CNBC points out, this substantial increase in volume also has to do with the fact that the Brewers Association slightly redefined what constitutes a”craft brewer” at the beginning of 2014. The new definition says that craft brewers are small (producing 6 million barrels or less, with approximately 3% of U.S. annual sales), independent (less than 25% is owned or controlled by a noncraft brewer), and traditional (meaning that while adjunct brewing counts, fermented malt beverages still aren’t considered beer). The key point here is the 6 million barrels or less number, which means that larger independent breweries like Yuengling—which produces 3 million barrels a year—now count.
Here’s the full Brewers Association infographic showing how far craft brewing came in 2014.
[via the Brewers Association, CNBC]