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Monday, March 16, 2015

Growth in the Craft Beer Segment *Accelerating*

I am slammed today and don't have the time to add a lot to the latest numbers put out by the Brewers Association. They're just pretty staggering:
  • Craft* now has an 11% share of the beer market's total volume and 19% of the dollars.
  • That's growth of 18% over last year's totals to 22 million barrels (the segment only hit 10 million in 2010).
  • There are nearly 3,500 breweries, up from around 2,900 last year.
  • So called "microbreweries" now outnumber brewpubs, which at the very least ought to give new entrants pause (though only 46 breweries closed last year, amazingly enough).
These numbers really help drive home the logic of consolidation and acquisitions. There is a ton of money in beer ($20 billion in the craft segment alone)--figures that make future purchases inevitable.  (And which will, paradoxically, make these numbers mean less and less as companies like 10 Barrel and Elysian are pruned from the rolls.)

*As defined by the Brewers Association.


  1. 615 openings and 46 closing is.... 7% failure rate? You'll have to check my early morning precoffee maths, but I think that's right. Looks to be consistent with last years numbers of less than 10%

    Try and find that in another industry. Also, I'm going to say that there are a number of companies producing subpar beer and still expanding. I'm not going to name anyone, but I've had highly infected beer from two smallish brewing companies in the past year and seen some pretty big mistakes (hop chunks floating in an IPA, really?)

    Wherever we are headed, consolidation, collapse, expansion, etc., it is going to be very interesting....

  2. I'd think the failure rate would be measured against the total # of breweries, not the # of newly opened breweries? So 46 against 2,900 is just under 2%.

  3. Anyone check for shifts in the BAs methodology? It would be nice to know if we are comparing apples to apples - or stats based on generally accepted principles v PR.

  4. I have to point out the faulty representation in the graphic for Volume Share for Craft Brewers. Those pint glasses should really only be 11% full at the most. We've got a long way to go!

  5. A non mouse, you are correct. My (now) well caffeinated brain would agree with your math.

  6. You could tell craft beer was a bubble when two of the big 4 homebrew shops got snapped up by the same Venture Capital group. It's going to be gnarly when it finally bursts.

  7. >Anyone check for shifts in the BAs methodology?

    The jump from 7.8% to 11% market share of the US beer market was accomplished, in part, by the addition of Yuengling (at nearly 3 million bbl) and a few other, yet unnamed, breweries that in previous years were considered "non-craft" by the B.A. because their flagships/primary production was adjunct lager.

    Brewbound covers it at: