- 22% of the beer consumed in Oregon was brewed here--and with the exception of 10 Barrel, these all conform to the general sense of "craft breweries."
- 63% of draft beer sold in Oregon is brewed in Oregon. (63%!)
- The amount of Oregon-brewed beer consumed in Oregon increased 11% in the past year, even while...
- The amount of beer brewed in Oregon increased only 3.5%.
- Oregon had 206 brewing companies operating 246 brewing facilities in 72 cities at the end of the year.
- Portland has 65 breweries and there are 95 in the metro area.
That's good, but the stats that most interested me were these: Oregon's consumption of craft beer--already the highest in the nation--continued to grow at an 11% clip. But its production only grew at about a third as fast, at 3.5%. Most of Oregon's beer production comes from just a handful of breweries--breweries that sell regionally or nationally. While breweries like Deschutes, Craft Brewers Alliance, Full Sail, and Ninkasi sell a lot of beer locally, they sell way more of it out of state. We can take this to mean that they're having a harder time selling their beer in growing markets outside Oregon.
I think we're seeing this reflected in recent stories about slowing sales for the big flagship brands even as the craft segment continues to grow. The craft segment is changing and becoming more local even as many big brands are expanding and trying to grab a piece of that ever-expanding pie.
I used to think Oregon was a cultural anomaly and that our progress in developing beer culture would not be replicated elsewhere. But I started thinking that when craft brewing had a 4% market share and Oregon was at 12%. Oregon is likely always going to be one of the national leaders in craft beer consumption and production, but it isn't anomalous--it's just ahead of the curve. And it's growing. What proportion of the national beer market will the craft segment on day occupy? At least 25%, I'd guess--and possibly well north of that.