Beer drinkers nationwide are responding positively to high-quality, full-flavored, diverse offerings from American craft brewing companies that continue to innovate and push the envelope. According to recently released statistics from the Brewers Association, the U.S. craft brew sector reached 11-percent volume share of the marketplace in 2014.
In 2014, craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels, and saw an 18-percent rise in volume and a 22-percent increase in retail dollar value. Retail dollar value was estimated at $19.6 billion representing 19.3-percent market share.
“With the total beer market up only 0.5 percent in 2014, craft brewers are key in keeping the overall industry innovative and growing. This steady growth shows that craft brewing is part of a profound shift in American beer culturea shift that will help craft brewers achieve their ambitious goal of 20 percent market share by 2020," said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Small and independent brewers are deepening their connection to local beer lovers while continuing to create excitement and attract even more appreciators."
The number of operating breweries in the United States also grew 19 percent in 2014, totaling 3,464 breweries, with 3,418 considered craft broken down as: 1,871 microbreweries, 1,412 brewpubs and 135 regional craft breweries. Throughout the year, there were 615 new brewery openings and only 46 closings.
Increased thirst for craft beer also is making an impact at the retail level where more stores are devoting coveted shelf space to new beers and in-store promotions. This increased demand creates a great opportunity for product trial and customization, which will keep the market “hopping." This focus on product differentiation and innovation also is a win-win for the alcohol ingredients market (flavors, colors and other ingredients for beers, spirits and wines), which is expected to experience steady growth to reach $1.18 billion in 2019, up from 989.2 million in 2013.