US craft brewers have set themselves an ambitious goal

US craft brewers have set themselves an ambitious goal

US craft brewers have set themselves a goal of having at least a 20% volume share of the country’s beer market by 2020. 

Trade group the Brewers Association (BA) today (3 March) unveiled a series of strategic changes, following a two-day meeting last week. Among the goals agreed is for the group’s members to have “more than 20% market share” within the next six years. 

Craft brewers, defined by the group as a company that has an annual production of 6m barrels or less, continue to see significant growth and currently have around a 6.5% volume share in the US and a 10.2% share by value. 

Gary Fish, the BA’s board of directors chairman and Deschutes Brewery president said: “The 20-by-‘20 objective is an aspirational goal...I’m convinced this is within our reach if we, as an industry, continue to focus on our strengths and passions—making and delivering high-quality, innovative, full-flavoured beer to craft beer enthusiasts.” 

The group has also made minor changes to its definition of a craft brewer. But it still states that a craft brewer must be less than 25% owned by a company that is not itself a craft beer producer. Under the new rules, it also states that “flavoured malt beverages” are not considered beer. 

In late 2012, the BA accused big beer companies of trying to "blur the lines" between their products and "genuine" craft beer. The group is unhappy that some major producers do not state their company name on "craft" brands they now own. 

The BA first set out its definition of a craft brewer in 2007 as it said it is a “necessary framework for craft industry statistical reporting and trend measurement”. The definition, however, has no legal standing.