Craft Beer Continues Its Tear…

Posted on Posted in Business, Craft Beer

The Brewers Association has just released its mid-year numbers and craft beer has continued its impressive growth streak. The highlights of the release, which is quoted below, include the following feats:

• Craft beer growth continues to break records with a volume increase of 11% and dollar increase of 14% in the first half of 2007 compared to the same period in 2006.

• For the first time ever craft beer has exceeded more than a 5% dollar share of total beer sales.

• In the first half of 2007 the beer category sold one million more barrels with 400,000 of these new barrels produced by craft brewers.

• Craft beer sales, in barrels, for the first half of 2007 was 3.768 million compared to 3.368 million barrels sold in the first half of 2006

The numbers for the craft beer segment continue to impress, especially the growth in
dollar share of beer sales (a crucial indicator too often cast aside for the focus of volume).

Dollar Share

On a final note, Julia Herz, the Brewers Association’s new director of craft beer marketing, has done a solid job of improving the way the trade association promotes the craft beer industry. This mid-year release, with pretty graphs and all, is a product of her continuing efforts to better promote craft beer.

Boulder , CO – August 15, 2007 – The Brewers Association, the trade association that tabulates industry data for craft brewers, reports craft beer sales and growth continue to break records. The volume of craft beer sold in the first half of 2007 rose 11% compared to this same period in 2006 and dollar growth increased 14%. For the first time ever craft beer has exceeded more than a 5% dollar share of total beer sales.

Overall, the U.S. beer industry sold one million more barrels in the first half of 2007 compared to 2006, with 400,000 of these new barrels produced by craft breweries. This equates to 3.768 million barrels of craft beer sold in the first two quarters of 2007 compared to 3.368 million barrels sold in the first half of 2006.

Scan data from Information Resources, Inc. provide additional data points that confirm strength for the segment. Craft beer sales in the supermarket channel through July 15th, 2007 showed a 17.4% increase in dollar sales compared to the same period in 2006. This growth in sales was higher than any other alcohol beverage category.

“The 1,400 small, independent and traditional craft brewers in the U.S. have hit their stride,? said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association.“United States craft brewers are making many of the world’s best beers, and the marketplace is responding.?

Coupled with the growth statistics has been a tidal wave of media coverage in the first half of 2007 including NBC’s Today Show on July 3 stating, “Beer is the new wine and can go with just about any food.? Additionally, Gallup, in its latest poll on alcohol beverages, announced for the second straight year that “Beer Again Edges Out Wine as Americans’ Drink of Choice.?

Julia Herz, Director of Craft Beer Marketing for the Brewers Association concluded, “Craft beer market share is steadily and consistently growing. A grassroots movement is responsible for this success as appreciators continue to trade up.?

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The definition of craft beer as stated by the Brewers Association: An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small = annual production of beer less than 2 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent = Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional = A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.

Based in Boulder, Colo., U.S.A., the Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade and education association for American craft brewers and the community of beer enthusiasts. Visit the website: www.beertown.org to learn more. The association’s activities include events and publishing: World Beer Cup®; Great American Beer Festival sm ; Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®; National Homebrewers Conference; National Homebrew Competition; American Craft Beer Week (May); Zymurgy magazine; The New Brewer magazine; and books on beer and brewing. The Brewers Association has an additional membership division of 12,000+ homebrewers: American Homebrewers Association.

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