Craft Beer Surge: Small Brewers Now Possess Double-Digit Market Share In The U.S.

For the first time in the history of the United States, craft brewers occupy a double-digit share of the U.S. beer market according to a recently released report by the Brewers Association.

According to the statistics in the report, craft brewers now maintain a 11 percent share over beer sold in the United States. By comparison’s sake, last year, craft beer brewers controlled 7.8 percent of the market share. Macro brewers such as Miller-Coors and Anheuser-Busch InBev have steadily been losing ground to the surging craft beer market in recent years. With American’s beer tastes evolving to more flavorful beers, plain-jane lagers produced by macro brewers have struggled to keep up with the more complex and interesting recipes of their craft beer adversaries.

While the 3.2 percent market share loss experienced by the macros might sound small, it represents an 18 percent increase for the craft beer movement between 2013 and 2014 when it comes to beer market volume growth. If the trend continues, you might see craft beer companies occupying a much more significant volume of the market place by the year 2020 and beyond.

Craft beer has seen its production really ramp up since the year 2008. Eight and a half million barrels of craft beer were produced in 2008. Fast forward six years, and 22.2 million barrels of craft beer were produced in 2014, representing an increase of 261 percent in production.

When it comes to raw dollars spent, craft beer brought in $19.6 billion in 2014. With craft beer typically priced higher than macro beers such as Budweiser and Miller due to more expensive ingredients and a small business structure, this sales amount actually translates to 19.3 percent of all dollars spent on beer in the United States coming from craft beer.

The craft beer explosion of the 21st century shows no signs of slowing down, either, as the number of craft breweries in the United States increased 19 percent between 2013 and 2014. There are now 3,464 craft breweries in the U.S., and the effect on the U.S. economy can’t be denied. The explosion of the craft beer market has created 115,649 jobs for American workers.

Anheuser-Busch InBev began fighting back against craft beer during the Super Bowl this year. They spent a reported $9 million dollars on a 60 second commercial that told viewers that they now embrace their “macro” label, while also informing the audience that their lagers are “brewed the hard way.” While it is true that it is difficult to brew lagers, many took issue with a commercial that implied Budweiser is a hard-working American company, given the fact that they sold-out to Belgium-owned InBev in 2008 for $52 billion.

[Image via Huffington Post]