The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing small and independent American brewers, released 2012 data on United States craft brewing growth earlier this month. In a year when the total U.S. beer market grew by one percent, craft brewers saw a 15 percent rise in volume 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, BA Director. “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, the U.S. saw an 18 percent increase in the number of operating breweries with the total count reaching 2,403. The count includes 409 new brewery openings and only 43 closings. Small breweries created an estimated 4,857 more jobs during the year by employing 108,440 workers compared to 103,583 in 2011.
“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,” Gatza added. “There is clearly a thirst in the marketplace for craft brewed beer, as indicated by the continued growth year after year. 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.”