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Craft beer showing no signs of slowing down in popularity

Graph by the Brewers Association.

Graph by the Brewers Association.

The Brewers Association, a trade organization dedicated to supporting and supplying information about the craft beer industry, has released its mid-year report on the health of the industry. In the first half of 2015, American craft beer production volume increased 16 percent according to the group’s press release.

From January through the end of June 2015, approximately 12.2 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014.

“Industry growth is occurring in all regions and stemming from a mix of sources including various retail settings and a variety of unique brewery business models,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent, although competition in the sector is certainly growing and the need for brewers to differentiate and produce world class high quality beer is more important than ever.”

In addition to the phenomenal increase in production, new brewery openings are occurring at a break-neck pace. As of June 30, 2015, 3,739 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 699 breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were 1,755 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 115,469 full-time and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

“More and more Americans are discovering the joys of enjoying fresh beer produced by their neighborhood brewery. By supporting local, small and independent craft breweries, beer lovers are gradually returning the United States to the system of localized beer production that existed for much of our nation’s history,” added Watson.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Beer

 

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American craft beer is big in Europe and the rest of the world

BA_logoThe demand for American craft beers is so high that several breweries are planning to build facilities overseas. Perhaps the most visible of these is Stone Brewing Company. The brewery’s European Brewery Project has been the topic of much discussion. But, as the company’s blog says, “…we believe Europe is in the early stages of a brewing revolution.” Which means that, just like America in the 1990’s, Europe is getting tired of fizzy yellow beer and craving more complex, challenging brews that truly represent the artistry that is possible in brewing beer.
Though Canada is the largest export market with an increase of 140 percent in volume, Western Europe showed amazing increases. Sweden and the United Kingdom saw slight declines, but the increase in the rest of Europe accounted for $14.6 million.

Nowhere is the American influence more evident than at Brew Dog brewery. Brew Dog, located in Edinburgh, started in 2007 and is an ode to American-style brewing. Brewer James Watts proudly proclaims that the pioneering spirit of American brewers was what inspired him to start his brewery. Other British breweries like Meantime and Dark Star are not shy about making similar statements either.

But, European markets are not the only places American beers are rising in popularity. The Asia-Pacific region increased substantially as well. The Japanese alone accounted for a 57 percent jump in volume this with increases in China, Hong Kong and emerging markets such as Thailand prove that American beers are going global in a big way. The increase in popularity of American craft beers is a natural outgrowth of the booming beer market in Asia. Many analysts believe that China will continue to dominate the Asian beer market; they also see India as an emerging powerhouse. With a population base the size of these two countries alone, American brews are bound to keep expanding into the markets.

Bob Pease, chief operating officer, Brewers Association said , “The BA is very pleased with the continued growth in exports of American craft beer to markets around the world. Consumers continue to view American craft brewers as leaders in innovation and among the standard bearers for quality. Maintaining that perception is a priority for the craft brewing community.”

On the Stone Brewing Company blog, Jacob McKean sums up what might be the reason behind the surge in popularity of American craft beer in Europe, “…there are Europeans who are excited about breaking the hegemony of fizzy yellow beer by supporting innovative brewers. And that’s enough for us.”

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Beer, Beer News

 

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