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Craft Beer Grew by 4% in 2019 and is Now a $29 Billion Industry

Craft Beer Grew by 4% in 2019 and is Now a $29 Billion Industry

The craft beer landscape will certainly look a lot more different when 2020 numbers, with the industry feeling the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, 2019 was a significant year for independent craft breweries, because while overall beer sales declined by 2%, the craft beer segment managed to grow by 4% in volume.

The Brewers Association published its Annual Growth Report for 2019 today and of the most notable findings to emerge from the report was the fact that in 2019, small and independent craft breweries produced 26.3 million barrels of beer, which accounts for 13.6% of the total beer market share, up from 13% the previous year, and 12.5% in 2017.

That volume growth from independent craft breweries also resulting in a rise in the retail dollar value represented from the industry, which grew from $27.6 billion to $29.3 billion over the last year.

“Small and independent brewers continued to serve as job creators, strong economic contributors, and community beacons in 2019, while craft maintained a fairly stable growth rate in 2019 and continued to gain share in the beer market,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association.

And while the US also continues to see more and more breweries opening across the US, last year totaling 8,275 breweries in operation, with 942 new brewery openings and 294 closings in 2019, if last week’s COVID-19 brewery impact survey is any indicator, we’re likely to see our first significant year for closures in 2020.

“Although craft brewers entered 2020 on a solid foundation, the beer landscape is dramatically different today than it was just a few months ago. Breweries will be facing new realities due to the pandemic with extended closures, tight cash flow, societal shifts, and other economic variables in play. These 2019 figures will allow us to see how much COVID-19 affects small brewer production and jobs,” added Watson.


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