Craft Beer Market Exceeds $10 Billion

U.S. craft beer volumes reached an all-time high last year, according to the Brewers Association. The trade group for small and independent brewers revealed in its annual report on the state of the U.S. craft beer industry that 2012 production exceeded 13.2 million barrels, up 15% from 2011. Craft beer sales in 2012 increased 17%, reaching an estimated $10.2 billion, the Brewers Association said. That’s a sizable contribution to the $99 billion beer industry.

Sales of craft beer sales have risen steadily in the past eight years. During that time nearly 1,000 new breweries have opened, which has helped to more than double the industry’s total production of craft beer. Brewers Association director Paul Gatza said in a press release that “On average, we are seeing slightly more than one craft brewery per day opening somewhere in the U.S. and we anticipate even more in the coming year.”

The Brewers Association defines “craft” as brewers that produce less than 6 million barrels of beer a year and are less than 25% owned by another non-craft brewer. So the figures don’t account for beer produced by Craft Brew Alliance, Goose Island, and Magic Hat, not to mention the independently-owned D.G. Yuengling & Son and “crafty” brews like Shock Top (owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev) and Blue Moon (owned by MillerCoors).

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