The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, reports America's small and independent craft brewers¹ are still growing despite many challenges and are continuing to provide jobs to the U.S. economy. Dollar growth from craft brewers during the first half of 2009 increased 9%, down from 11% growth during the same period in 2008. Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 5% for the first six months in 2009, compared to 6.5% growth in the first half of 2008. Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year is an estimated 4.2 million, compared to 4 million barrels sold in the first half of 2008.I've been waiting for this news, hoping that things hadn't gotten too grim. And not only haven't they gotten grim, they're good. If craft beer can continue to grow even during this economy, things look bright for the future. Worth noting: overall, beer sales are down 1.3% and imports are down 9.5%. I take this to mean that while people may cut back on beer, and expensive beer, they're not cutting back on (relatively) expensive local beer.
I'll drink to that.