Brewers Association Mid-Year Metrics Show Continued Growth for Craft

Brewery Count Reaches Historic High

BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Craft brewers are still growing, according to new mid-year data released
by the Brewers
 (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small
and independent
American brewers. American craft beer production
volume increased eight percent during the first half of the year.

“While the craft brewing industry is entering a period of maturation,
most markets are not near saturation,” said Bart Watson, chief
economist, Brewers Association. “As craft’s base gets larger, as with
any industry, it becomes more difficult for it to grow at the same
percentage rate. Yet there is still tremendous dynamism reflected in
eight percent growth for craft. Production growth of small and
independent craft brewers continues to be one of the main bright spots
for domestic beer in the U.S. Even in a more competitive market, for the
vast majority of small and independent brewers, opportunities still

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As of June 30, a record high of 4,656 breweries were operating in the
U.S., an increase of 917 breweries over the same time period of the
previous year. Additionally, there were approximately 2,200 breweries in
planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 121,843 full-time
and part-time workers in a variety of roles including many of
manufacturing jobs, all of which contribute significantly to the U.S.

“The opening rate compared to closing rate for breweries remains
incredibly strong, with a historic number of breweries operating in the
U.S.,” added Watson. “As long as there is growing consumer demand, beer
lovers’ thirst will continue to advance the category of craft brewed
beer from small and independent producers.”

Note: The data set includes the small and independent breweries that
the Brewers Association anticipates being included in the 2016 data set.

Craft brewer definition: An American craft brewer is small,
independent and traditional. Small: Annual
production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent
of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of
alternating proprietorships. Independent:
Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or
equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member
that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional:
A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in
beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing
ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are
not considered beers.

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association
dedicated to small
and independent 
American brewers, their beers and the community
of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more
than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than
99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events
including the World
Beer CupSM
American Beer Festival®
Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®
An American Craft Beer & Food Experience
, Homebrew
, National
Homebrew Competition
 and American
Craft Beer Week
The BA publishes The
New Brewer
magazine and its Brewers
 division is the largest publisher of contemporary and
relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft
beer at and
about homebrewing via the BA’s American
Homebrewers Association
. Follow us on Twitter.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not
discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender,
religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or
marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive
Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the
Secretary of Labor.


On behalf of the Brewers Association
Abby Berman Cohen,