US craft brewers are seeing sales booming still

US craft brewers are seeing sales booming still

Sales of US craft beers in the first half of 2013 rose by 15%, according to latest figures. 

The Brewers Association, which represents small and independent US brewers, reported yesterday (29 July) that volumes in the period were also up, by 13%. Craft brewers sold around 7.3m barrels, compared to 6.4m barrels in the first six months of 2012. 

The rise represents a slight lift on last year's growth, when volumes were up by 12% and sales value rose by 14%. 

“Beer drinkers nation-wide are responding positively to high-quality, full-flavoured, diverse offerings from American craft brewing companies that continue to innovate and push the envelope,” said Paul Gatza, the Brewers Association's director. 

The group defines a craft brewer as one with annual production of less than 6m barrels and where less than 25% of the company is owned by a firm that is not itself a craft brewer. 

The number of breweries in the US is also continuing to grow. As of last month, the country has 2,538 operational breweries, up 21% year-on-year. The BA said that 2,483 of these are craft breweries, which make up 98% of the US' total beer-making sites. 

Earlier this year, the association reported that exports of US craft beer had hit a record high

To read an exclusive just-drinks comment piece on traditional UK brewers producing US-style craft beers, click here.