American craft beer exports grow again in 2017


According to a report released today by the Brewers Association (BA), craft beer exports grew by 3.6 percent in 2017 and now total 482,309 barrels valued at $125.4 million. The BA defines a craft brewery as small, independent, and traditional, though they are working to replace the term craft brewery with the term independent brewery.

“From innovative styles to international distribution, American craft beer is breaking boundaries,” said Steve Parr, export development program manager, Brewers Association. “Through the Brewers Association Export Development Program, we’re able to take the success of local brewers and showcase them on a global scale.”

The BA’s Export Development Program (EDP), which generates exposure for American craft beer through trade shows, festivals, seminars, media outreach and competitions, among other activities, was initiated in 2004 with funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Market Access Program (USDA MAP). The EDP estimates that more than 100 small and independent brewers currently export their beers from the U.S.

Growth was seen in major markets including in the Asia-Pacific region (not including Japan) which grew 7.4 percent; Japan, which was up 2.6 percent and Western Europe which saw exports increase by 1.3 percent.

Once again Canada was the leading international market for American craft beer, accounting for 51.3 percent of total exports. Other leading importers were the United Kingdom, accounting for 10.5 percent; Sweden, 6.7 percent; Korea, 4.6 percent; Australia, with 3.8 percent; and China, with 2.5 percent of exports.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, the Brewers Association is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 4,000-plus U.S. breweries.