Craft beer rolls another 7

Sales continue to surge in 2005

Sept 15, 2005 - America's craft breweries continued their strong growth in the first half of 2005 although beer sales overall remained level, according to statistics compiled by the Brewers Association and other sources.


First half numbers collected by the BA put the growth rate at more than 7% - the same as the country's 1,400 craft brewers achieved in 2004.

"Craft beers continue to gain in popularity across the US," said Bump Williams of Information Resources, Inc (IRI). "Thirteen of the top 15 craft beers have enjoyed positive dollar and volume trends year-to-date and it appears that there is no end in sight to their success."

Scan data collected by IRI from grocery and drug stores nationwide showed a 7.8% increase in dollar sales for the craft segment for the year to date through August 9, 2005.

Craft beer holds its own against wine and spirits as well. According to the IRI data, sales of domestic wine grew 9.3% through food and drug outlets and spirits grew by 7% percent in these channels. Collectively, the IRI data show that craft beer continues to perform well against all other beverage alcohol categories.

"Many craft brewers reported shipments at an all time high this summer in addition to strong first half results," said Paul Gatza, director of the Boulder-based Brewers Association. "Overall the segment continues to thrive."

"We are seeing steady growth among craft brewers throughout the country with specialty breweries leading the way," said Ray Daniels, director of Craft Beer Marketing for the BA. "The innovative brands and diverse flavors offered by these brewers continue to find resonance with consumers."