The Brewers Association announced that craft beer sales increased 13% in volume in 2011 and that revenue grew 15%.
In 2011, craft brewers represented 5.68% of volume of the U.S. beer market, compared to 4.97% in 2010. Production increased 1.3 million barrels to 11.5 million barrles. The BA estimates the actual dollar sales figure from craft brewers in 2011 was $8.7 billion, up from $7.6 billion in 2010.
“While the overall beer market experienced a 1.32% volume decrease in 2011, craft brewing saw significant growth, surpassing five percent total market volume share for the first time,” said BA director Paul Gatza. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that with the variety of styles and flavors to choose from, Americans are developing a strong taste for high-quality, small-batch beer from independent brewers.”
The association reported that 250 breweries opened, 37 closed and that 1,989 were operating by the end of the year.
“We saw rapid growth in brewery openings last year, particularly with microbrewery start-ups, and these numbers are poised to rise even more in 2012,” Gatza said. “In February 2012, we already topped 2,000 operating breweries—a truly remarkable milestone. We look forward to even more success and the continued expansion of the craft beer market.”