US craft: record start ups
Brewery openings averaged 1.5 a day during 2014
Craft brewing, American style closed 2014 with a record number of brewers mashing in. According to the Brewers Association, the craft brewer’s trade association, in November the country topped 3,200 brewers in operation.
And there’s more to come – the number of brewery licences topped 4,500 in the first six months of the year. While many of these licences may take years to convert into actual operation, the Brewers Association estimates that breweries are opening at a rate of 1.5 a day, or close to 550 a year.
Taking note of sustained double-digit percentage in growth in both volume and value for the craft brewing segment, Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson commented, “2014 proved that craft beer is moving into the mainstream. Consumers are making a conscious decision to buy and try the plethora of options produced by small and independent craft brewers.”
Craft brewers now number more than 100 in total in 13 out of 50 US states – California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina.
As craft brewers expand so, too, has the thirst for their products. The Brewers Association cites market research that found 38% of households bought a craft beer during 2014, as opposed to 29% in 2010. Additionally, women consume about 32 per cent of craft beer volume, almost half of which comes from women ages 21-34.
Watson noted, “More and more breweries will spur innovation, meaning there will be even more offerings on hand for beer geeks and beginners to enjoy.”
India Pale Ale was the most popular craft beer style. According to retail data, IPA rose by 47 per cent by volume and 49 percent in value. IPAs now account for 21 per cent of craft beer volume and 24 per cent of craft beer sales value.