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Brewers Association Reports 2011 Mid-Year Growth For U.S. Craft Breweries


Brewers Association Statisitics

Dollar growth up 15% in first six months of 2011; U.S. sees rapid growth in breweries in planning

Boulder, CO – The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, has released strong mid-year numbers for America’s small and independent craft brewers¹. Dollar sales were up 15 percent in the first half of 2011, excluding brewers who left the craft segment in 2010². Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 14 percent for the first six months in 2011, compared to 9 percent growth in the first half of 2010.

Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year are an estimated 5.1 million barrels. Despite many challenges, the mid-year numbers show signs of continued growth for craft breweries. The industry currently provides an estimated 100,000 jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

“Craft brewers continue to innovate and brew beers of excellent quality,” noted Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “America’s beer drinkers are rapidly switching to craft because of the variety of flavors they are discovering. And they are connecting with small and independent craft brewers as companies they choose to support.”

The U.S. now boasts 1,790 breweries—an increase of 165 additional breweries since June 2010. The Brewers Association also tracks breweries in planning as an indicator of potential new entrants into the craft category, and lists 725 breweries in planning today compared to 389 a year ago. Additionally, the count of craft brewers was at 1,740 as of June 30, 2011.

“There is a growing interest in establishing new breweries,” Gatza added. “It seems like every day we are hearing about a brewery in planning. Will they all make it? No, but many will if they produce high-quality, interesting craft beers and can get them to market through self-distribution and beer wholesalers and beer retailers.”


  1. David | Monday, September 12, 2011

    …At the same time the breweries already in operation have their expansion caps on. Brewers like Dogfish Head and Lagunitas have expansions underway or in planning. Stone has very ambitious plans in the works…

  2. Terence McNicholas | Monday, December 19, 2011

    I think in the next few years consumers will start to look for value within the craft beer segment. The kind of value that nano breweries (which make up the majority of the ones in planning make up) can’t offer. The expansion within the industry sometimes seems a little too fast and somewhat haphazard. Best of luck to those following their dreams but BE CAREFUL it’s easy to lose a lot of money while you are having fun if you don’t focus on making sales and establishing a brand/cult following.

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