Déjà vu: Craft beers sales up 13%

Craft Beer Sales

Just to be clear, the date on this story is July 29, 2013. The upward march of craft beer (per the Brewers Association definition) sales has been so relentless that some days you feel a little like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day.”

Sales increased 13% in volume in the first half of the year, and 15% in dollars, according the information released today by the BA.

During the first half of 2013, craft breweries sold approximately 7.3 million barrels of beer, up from 6.4 million barrels over the first half of 2012. Overall, beer sales were down 2% through the first six months of the year.

“Demand for beer produced by small and independent brewers has never been higher, as evidenced by increased production and the hundreds of new breweries joining the playing field each year,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “Beer drinkers nationwide are responding positively to high-quality, full-flavored, diverse offerings from American craft brewing companies that continue to innovate and push the envelope.”

American Brewery Count

The BA also reported there are 2,538 breweries operating in the U.S. as of June 30, 2013, an increase of 446 breweries since June 2012. The BA lists an additional 1,605 breweries in planning at the year’s midpoint, compared to 1,252 a year ago.


Alltech honors Stewart, Owens

Kentucky-based Alltech honored two brewing and distilling pioneers at its first International Craft Brewing and Distilling Convention, held last week in Dublin, Irelnd.

“Both recipients have dedicated their lives to educating and inspiring young brewers and distillers, while being innovative in the industry in their own professional capacity,” Alltech president Perase Lyons said, announcing awards to Graham Stewart and Bill Owens.

Stewart received the outstanding service in brewing and distilling education award. He is professor emeritus in brewing and distilling at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, and special professor in bioethanol fermentation at The University of Nottingham, England.

He received his BSc in microbiology and biochemistry from the University of Wales and his PhD and DSc degrees from Bath University. He was the director of the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University from 1994-2007. He held a number of positions with the Labatt Brewing Company in Canada, serving as technical director from 1986 to 1994. Since retirement, he has established a consulting company – GGStewart Associates, based in Cardiff, Wales, which provides guidance to the alcohol and fermentation industries.

Stewart was president of the Institute of Brewing (now the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, or IBD) in 1999 and 2000. He is a member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA). He holds fellowships in the IBD, the Institute of Biology and the American Academy of Microbiology. Stewart has more than 300 publications to his name. Honors include the Horace Brown Medal of the IBD (2009), the Award of Distinction of the ASBC (2008), the Presidential Award of the MBAA (1983, 1998) and its Award of Merit (2009) and the Charles Thom Award of the Society of Industrial Microbiology (1988).

Owens was honored with the lifetime achievement in craft distilling award.

Following a successful career in photography, Owens began brewing beer again in the 1960s. He later left journalism and opened Buffalo Bill’s Brewery in 1983, the first brewpub in California, followed by Brewpub on the Green and The Bison Brewing Company. He also founded and spent two decades as publisher of American Brewer magazine, and later started BEER: The Magazine. In 2002, he founded the American Distilling Institute (ADI) and still serves as its president today. The institute has more than 600 members and hosts an annual conference drawing 900 attendees. It will host its first one-day Craft Distilling Expo in London in the fall of 2013.