The Brewers Association today announced that craft beers sales grew 7.2% in 2009 as the same time that overall beer sales tumbled. The dollar value of craft beer grew even more dramatically, 10.3%. Overall, craft brewers sold 613,992 additional barrels in 2009, an increase equal to about 8.5 million cases.
Overall, U.S. beer sales were down approximately 5 million barrels (31 gallons each) in 2009.
“Beer lovers continue to find great value and enjoyment in fuller flavored craft beers,” Brewers Association director Paul Gatza said for a press release. “Americans have an increasing appreciation of craft beers, and the growing number of brewers behind them. They’re eager to try the latest seasonal release and to sample a variety of beers from different breweries.”
Craft brewers, as defined by the BA, accounted for 4.3% of volume and 6.9% of retail dollars for the total U.S. beer category. The BA estimates actual dollar sales figure from craft brewers in 2009 was $7 billion, up from $6.3 billion in 2008.
The total number of U.S. craft brewers grew from 1,485 to 1,542 in 2009, and they produced 9,115,635 barrels, up from 8,501,713 barrels in 2008. Overall U.S. beer sales fell from approximately 210.4 million barrels to 205.8 million barrels.