Steady Growth for Small and Independent Brewers

Brewers Association Releases 2016 Statistics for Craft Category

 (BA)—the trade association representing small
and independent
1 American craft brewers—today released
2016 data on U.S. craft brewing2 growth. With over 5,300
breweries operating during the year, small and independent craft brewers
represent 12.3 percent market share by volume of the overall beer

In 2016, craft brewers produced 24.6 million barrels, and saw a 6
percent rise in volume3 on a comparable base and a 10 percent
increase in retail dollar value. Retail dollar value was estimated at
$23.5 billion, representing 21.9 percent market share. By adding 1.4
million barrels, craft brewer growth outpaced the 1.2 million barrels
lost from the craft segment, based on purchases by large brewing
companies. Microbreweries and brewpubs delivered 90 percent of the craft
brewer growth.

“Small and independent brewers are operating in a new brewing reality
still filled with opportunity, but within a much more competitive
landscape,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “As
the overall beer market remains static and the large global brewers lose
volume, their strategy has been to focus on acquiring craft brewers.
This has been a catalyst for slower growth for small and independent
brewers and endangered consumer access to certain brands. Small and
independent brewers were able to fill in the barrels lost to
acquisitions and show steady growth but at a rate more reflective of
today’s industry dynamics. The average brewer is getting smaller and
growth is more diffuse within the craft category, with producers at the
tail helping to drive growth for the overall segment.”

High Resolution Graphic Here

Expanded Infographic Here

Additionally, in 2016 the number of operating breweries in the U.S. grew
16.6 percent, totaling 5,301 breweries, broken down as follows: 3,132
microbreweries, 1,916 brewpubs, 186 regional craft breweries and 67
large or otherwise non-craft brewers. Small and independent breweries
account for 99 percent of the breweries in operation. Throughout the
year, there were 826 new brewery openings and only 97 closings. Combined
with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft
brewers provided nearly 129,000 jobs, an increase of almost 7,000 from
the previous year.

Note: Numbers are preliminary. For additional insights from
Bart Watson, visit “Breaking
Down the Craft Growth Numbers”
on the Brewers
Association website
. A more extensive analysis will be released
during the Craft
Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®
 in Washington,
D.C. from April 10-13. The full 2016 industry analysis will be published
in the May/June 2017 issue of The
New Brewer
, highlighting regional trends and production
by individual breweries.

1An American craft brewer is small, independent and
traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or
less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is
attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent:
Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or
equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member
that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer that has a
majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor
derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their
fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

2Absolute figures reflect the dynamic craft brewer
data set as specified by the craft brewer definition. Growth numbers are
presented on a comparable base.
full methodology, see the Brewers Association website.

3 Volume by craft brewers represent total taxable

# # #

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association
dedicated to small
and independent
American brewers, their beers and the community of
brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than
70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99
percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including
the World
Beer CupSM
American Beer Festival®
Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®
An American Craft Beer & Food Experience
Homebrew Competition
 and American
Craft Beer Week
®. The BA publishes The
New Brewer
magazine and its Brewers Publications division
is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature
for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft
beer at and
about homebrewing via the BA’s American
Homebrewers Association
 and the free Brew
 mobile app. Follow us on Facebook
and Twitter.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not
discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender,
religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or
marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive
Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the
Secretary of Labor.


On behalf of the Brewers Association
Abby Cohen, 646-695-7044