Brewers Association reviews the 2014 craft beer scene

The Brewers Association recently released some facts about the state of craft beer in 2014. It’s all happy news. In fact, it’s hard for craft beer lovers to read information like this without cracking a smile. Some of the numbers are unimaginable. Like the number of new breweries opening each and every day: 1.5 breweries per day. Amazing.

Of course, if you’re one of those people saddened by news that craft beer is gaining wider popularity, and you long for the days when craft beer was our little secret, then I suppose this kind of news is disheartening. Might I suggest mead? Renaissance fairs and medieval role-play are fine hobbies, or so I’m told.

If you are delighted to see craft beer creep its way into the mainstream, consider some of these encouraging facts from the Brewers Association.

  • U.S. brewery count returns to historic levels. In November, the United States passed the mark of 3,200 brewers in the country and the number of brewery licenses reached the highest ever, topping 4,500 in the first sixth months of the year. Thirteen states (CA, CO, WA, OR, MI, NY, PA, TX, FL, WI, IL, NC, OH) now have more than 100 breweries each.
  • Breweries are opening at a rate of 1.5 per day. In addition, there are more than 2,000 breweries in planning.
  • Craft brewers were the growth point in the overall beer industry. Through June of 2014, craft brewers enjoyed 18 percent growth by volume. Numerous data channels are showing continuing double-digit growth for craft in the second half of the year.
  • India Pale Ales (IPAs) remained the most favored craft beer style. According to retail scan data, IPA is up 47 percent by volume and 49 percent by dollar sales, accounting for 21 percent volume share of craft and 23 percent dollar share of off-premise beer sales. Additionally, the style was the number one entered category at the Great American Beer Festival┬«.
  • Variety packs had a strong year with craft beer lovers. Retail data also indicates that variety packs are up 21 percent by volume and 24 percent by dollar sales, equating to nine percent volume share of craft and seven percent dollar share.
  • Craft beer appreciators are becoming as diverse as craft beer itself. Data indicates that 38 percent of households bought a craft beer in the last year versus 29 percent in 2010. Additionally, women consume almost 32 percent of craft beer volume, almost half of which comes from women ages 21-34. Hispanic populations are demonstrating increased craft engagement as well.