The craft brewing industry has continued a strong pace of growth in the first half of 2015, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association. American craft beer (as defined by the BA) production volume increased 16% during the first half of the year.
From January through the end of June 2015, approximately 12.2 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014.
“Industry growth is occurring in all regions and stemming from a mix of sources including various retail settings and a variety of unique brewery business models,â€ BA economist Bart Watson said in a press release. “The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent.”
As of June 30, 2015, 3,739 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 699 breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were 1,755 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 115,469 full-time and part-time workers.
“More and more Americans are discovering the joys of enjoying fresh beer produced by their neighborhood brewery. By supporting local, small and independent craft breweries, beer lovers are gradually returning the United States to the system of localized beer production that existed for much of our nationâ€™s history,” Watson said.