Small and Independent Brewers Continue to Grow Double Digits

Brewers Association Releases Annual Growth Figures for American
Craft Brewers

 (BA), the trade association representing small
and independent
1 American craft brewers, today released
2015 data on U.S. craft brewing2 growth. With more breweries
than even before, small and independent craft brewers now represent 12
percent market share of the overall beer industry.

In 2015, craft brewers produced 24.5 million barrels, and saw a 13
percent rise in volume3 and a 16 percent increase in retail
dollar value. Retail dollar value was estimated at $22.3 billion,
representing 21 percent market share.

“For the past decade, craft brewers have charged into the market, seeing
double digit growth for eight of those years,” said Bart Watson, chief
economist, Brewers Association. “There are still a lot of opportunities
and areas for additional growth. An important focus will remain on
quality as small and independent brewers continue to lead the local,
full-flavored beer movement.”

High Resolution Graphic Here

Expanded Infographic Here

Additionally, in 2015 the number of operating breweries in the U.S. grew
15 percent, totaling 4,269 breweries—the most at any time in American
history. Small and independent breweries account for 99 percent of the
breweries in operation, broken down as follows: 2,397 microbreweries,
1,650 brewpubs and 178 regional craft breweries. Throughout the year,
there were 620 new brewery openings and only 68 closings. One of the
fastest growing regions was the South, where four states—Virginia, North
Carolina, Florida and Texas—each saw a net increase of more than 20
breweries, establishing a strong base for future growth in the region.

Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs,
craft brewers provided nearly 122,000 jobs, an increase of over 6,000
from the previous year.

“Small and independent brewers are a beacon for beer and our economy,”
added Watson. “As breweries continue to open and volume increases, there
is a strong need for workers to fill a whole host of positions at these
small and growing businesses.”

Note: Numbers are preliminary. The Brewers Association will
release the list of Top 50 craft brewing companies and overall brewing
companies by volume sales on April 5. Additionally, a more extensive
analysis will be released during the Craft
Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®
Philadelphia from May 3-6. The full 2015 industry analysis will be
published in the May/June 2016 issue of The
New Brewer
, highlighting regional trends and production
by individual breweries.

1An American craft brewer is small, independent and
traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or
less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is
attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent:
Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or
equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member
that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer that has a
majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor
derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their
fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

2Absolute figures reflect the dynamic craft brewer
data set as specified by the craft brewer definition. Growth numbers are
presented on a comparable base.
full methodology, see the Brewers Association website.

3 Volume by craft brewers represent total taxable

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About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association
dedicated to small
and independent 
American brewers, their beers and the community
of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more
than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than
99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events
including the World
Beer CupSM
American Beer Festival®
Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®
An American Craft Beer & Food Experience
National Homebrewers Conference
, National
Homebrew Competition
 and American
Craft Beer Week
®. The BA publishes The
New Brewer
magazine and its Brewers
 division is the largest publisher of contemporary and
relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft
beer at and
about homebrewing via the BA’s American
Homebrewers Association
. Follow us on Twitter.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not
discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender,
religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or
marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive
Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the
Secretary of Labor.


On behalf of the Brewers Association
Abby Berman Cohen,