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US craft beer sales jump in 2014 - figures

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Craft beer now accounts for almost a fifth of the US beer market in value terms after the sub-category's rapid growth continued last year.

Craft beer is still seeing strong growth in the US

Craft beer is still seeing strong growth in the US

Sales among small and independent brewers in 2014 jumped by 22% on the year-prior to US$19.6bn, leading to a 19.3% market share, the Brewers Association reported yesterday. Volume sales increased by 18% to 22.2m barrels, meaning craft brewers have an 11% share of the market in volume terms. In 2010, craft brewers had a 5% share.

“This steady growth shows that craft brewing is part of a profound shift in American beer culture - a shift that will help craft brewers achieve their ambitious goal of 20% market share by 2020,” said Bart Watson, the BA's chief economist.

He added: “Small and independent brewers are deepening their connection to local beer lovers while continuing to create excitement and attract even more appreciators.”

Attracted by this growth, Anheuser-Busch InBev has moved to acquire three US craft brewers in just over a year and has a unit dedicated to growing its craft business

The number of breweries in the US also continued to grow in 2014, up 19% to a total of 3,464. A total of 615 new breweries opened and 46 closed last year.

At the end of 2014, craft brewers employed a total of 115,469 workers, the BA noted, an increase of around 5,000 jobs from the prior year.


Sectors: Beer & cider

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