US craft beer is continuing its rise, despite the rest of the beer market suffering

US craft beer is continuing its rise, despite the rest of the beer market suffering

Volume sales from US craft brewers rose by 15% in 2012, giving the sub-category a 6.5% share of the country's beer market, according to latest figures.

Sales of craft beer in value terms increased by 17% last year, while production hit 13.2m barrels, the Brewers Association reported yesterday (18 March). Craft brewers' share of the total beer market in value terms rose to double figures for the first time, reaching 10.2% in 2012, or US$10.2bn, the group said.

The sub-category's share of the US beer market by volume grew from 5.7% in 2011 to 6.5% in 2012.

By contrast, the US beer market as a whole grew by just 1% in value last year.

The group also reported an 18% year-on-year rise in the number of breweries operating in the US, hitting 2,403. New brewery openings totalled 409, while 43 shut in 2012. 

Small breweries created an estimated 4,857 more jobs during the year, employing 108,440 workers, compared to 103,583 the prior year, the group said. 

Last week, the body reported that exports by US craft brewers jumped by 72% to a record high in 2012