The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing small and independent American brewers, has released 2012 data on U.S. craft brewing growth. In a year when the total U.S. beer market grew by 1%, craft brewers saw a 15% rise in volume and a 17% increase in dollar growth, representing a total barrel increase of almost 1.8 million.
With production at 13.23 million barrels in 2012, craft brewers reached 6.5% volume of the total U.S. beer market, up from 5.7% the previous year. Additionally, craft dollar share of the total U.S. beer market reached 10.2% in 2012, as retail dollar value from craft brewers was estimated at $10.2 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2011.
“Beer is a $99 billion industry to which craft brewers are making a significant contribution, with retail sales share hitting double digits for the first time in 2012,” said Paul Gatza, Director, Brewers Association. “Small and independent brewers are consistently innovating and producing high quality, flavor-forward craft brewed beer. Americans are not only responding to greater access to these products, but also to the stories and people behind them.”
In 2012, there was an 18% increase in the number of U.S. operating breweries, with the total count reaching 2,403. This count includes 409 new brewery openings and only 43 closings. Small breweries created an estimated 4,857 more jobs during the year, employing 108,440 workers, compared to 103,583 the year prior.