Craft Beer and You (The More You Know)

As familiar as we are with Anheuser, Coors, and Miller (The 3 titans of the US beer industry), there is no denying that craft beers are making a statement- so much in fact, that they have started cutting in to the profits of these behemoths (or the big 3, as they are known in the craft world). Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about an American lager- hell, I often drink Miller Lite on a warm summer afternoon. Sometimes you just want it.

But in reality, most people cannot tell the difference between these American beers if they were blindfolded and given a sample. This is a problem… Brewing beer is about making a statement- standing out from the rest. As a guy that brews his own beer, the first thing I learned was that if I’m going to take 6 weeks out of my life to craft a brew, it damn well better not taste like anything else out there- otherwise I could save myself the trouble and just buy it off the shelf.

While surfing the internet one night, I stumbled across some craft beer facts. I bookmarked the site for a later use, just in case I wanted to refer to it at some point in the future.

  • Craft brewers currently provide an estimated 108,440 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs (how’s that for helping the economy?).
  • Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2012 was 15% by volume and 17% by dollars compared to growth in 2011 of 13% by volume and 15% by dollars.
  • Craft brewers sold an estimated 13,235,917 barrels (1 barrel = 31 gallons) of beer in 2012, up from 11,467,337 in 2011.
  • The craft brewing sales share in 2012 was 6.5% by volume and 10.2% by dollars.
  • Craft brewer retail dollar value in 2012 was an estimated $10.2 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2011.
  • As of March 18, 2013, the Brewers Association is aware of 409 brewery openings in 2012 (310 microbreweries and 99 brewpubs) and 43 brewery closings (18 microbreweries and 25 brewpubs).
  • 2,347 craft breweries operated for some or all of 2012, comprised of 1,132 brewpubs, 1,118 microbreweries and 97 regional craft breweries.

So there you have it. Now you know everything there is to know about the craft beer industry, right? Wrong… Sorry, but we are only scratching the surface… Like most things, new discoveries are being made every day, and it’s apparent that these ideas are being executed primarily in the craft markets.


Richard (your beer guy)



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