US: Premium growth to outstrip beer market - research

By | 26 September 2012

The just-drinks report covers the North American premium beer sector

The just-drinks report covers the North American premium beer sector

Premium beer production in the US is to increase at twice the rate of the overall industry over the next four years, according to a new just-drinks report.

US beer production is expected to reach 241m hectolitres in 2016, a 5% increase on last year, according to the report that was released this week. Premium beer, however, should hit 63m hectolitres in the same year, up 10% from last year, the report said.

The craft beer sector will help boost premium beer's rise, according to the report, which details the future of the North American premium beer industry.

“(Craft beer) will expand upon its near 6% market share as the leading brands of its more prominent brewers become better known and microbrewery produce becomes increasingly fashionable following a wave of highly positive recent media coverage,” it said.

Sam Adams brewer the Boston Beer Co remains at the top of the US craft beer tree with 3.4m hectolitres sold last year, the report said. Sierra Nevada is second with 1.21m hectolitres and New Belgium Brewing third with 100,000 hectolitres.

“The challenge for the craft sector will be retaining its independence and upholding the principles that made it popular in the first place as its 5.7% market share grows further and the bigger players study its methods and move to emulate them,” the report said. 

The definition of premium beer in the report is any beer with a higher than average abv and a 30% to 50% price mark-up.

Expert analysis

Premium beer in North America – forecasts to 2016

This second report in our series on premium beer concentrates on North America, currently the second largest premium beer market in the world and how this market specifically has faired. It examines how the major players and smaller brewers have reacted to the challenges and changing trends. Highlighted is one of the most exciting and innovative offshoots of the industry since its emergence in the mid- to late-1980s, that of craft brewing.

Sectors: Beer & cider

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