Beverage Industry, a leading magazine covering the $400 billion North American beverage market, has released its 2015 Beer Report and says that craft beer is still showing increased interest both in the industry and in pop culture. Based on data from Information Resources, Inc. based in Chicago, 2014 craft beer sales volume saw just over 17 percent in increases over 2013, with dollar sales up 20.5 percent.
“Craft is more than a beer segment; it is a cultural movement in American society,” says Jeff Nowicki, chief strategy officer with Bump Williams Consulting in the report. “I think if you look at where these small brewers have built their breweries, in many cases it is in the somewhat low-rent urban locations within their respective cities. These locations attract consumer visits and enhance these neighborhoods over a period of time. [In turn,] that brings people in, and, in many cases, ignites redevelopment of these areas in a multitude of ways.”
Another trend noticed by the report writers is how retailers are embracing locally-brewed beers.
“Local and regional brewers are now being given more consideration for shelf placement as consumers show greater support and interest in these brands,” Nowicki said.
One of the major factors driving the craft beer wave is the variety of styles, says the report. But, IPAs and other hoppy styles still rule the roost with 45 percent of the category’s growth. The relatively new session IPA segment saw the largest growth over 2013 with 323 percent increases.
Seasonal releases hold the second position with growth of 16.8 percent dollar share and 9.8 percent volume. In third place are variety packs, coming in at 7.8 percent market share. The top 5 styles – IPA, seasonal, Pale Ale, variety packs and Amber Ale – represent 64 percent of all craft beer sold in 2014.