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Craft Beer Growth Continues Double-Digit Growth in First Half of 2007

The Brewers Association just released the sales numbers for craft beer covering the first half of 2007. It’s all good news and craft beer is again showing double-digit growth at approximately 11%, which is the same percentage growth rate it sustained in 2006.

From the press release:

The Brewers Association, the trade association that tabulates industry data for craft brewers, reports craft beer sales and growth continue to break records. The volume of craft beer sold in the first half of 2007 rose 11% compared to this same period in 2006 and dollar growth increased 14%. For the first time ever craft beer has exceeded more than a 5% dollar share of total beer sales.

Overall, the U.S. beer industry sold one million more barrels in the first half of 2007 compared to 2006, with 400,000 of these new barrels produced by craft breweries. This equates to 3.768 million barrels of craft beer sold in the first two quarters of 2007 compared to 3.368 million barrels sold in the first half of 2006.

Scan data from Information Resources, Inc. provide additional data points that confirm strength for the segment. Craft beer sales in the supermarket channel through July 15th, 2007 showed a 17.4% increase in dollar sales compared to the same period in 2006. This growth in sales was higher than any other alcohol beverage category.

“The 1,400 small, independent and traditional craft brewers in the U.S. have hit their stride,” said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association.“United States craft brewers are making many of the world’s best beers, and the marketplace is responding.”

Coupled with the growth statistics has been a tidal wave of media coverage in the first half of 2007 including NBC’s Today Show on July 3 stating, “Beer is the new wine and can go with just about any food.” Additionally, Gallup, in its latest poll on alcohol beverages, announced for the second straight year that “Beer Again Edges Out Wine as Americans’ Drink of Choice.”

Julia Herz, Director of Craft Beer Marketing for the Brewers Association concluded, “Craft beer market share is steadily and consistently growing. A grassroots movement is responsible for this success as appreciators continue to trade up.”

The definition of craft beer as stated by the Brewers Association: An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small = annual production of beer less than 2 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent = Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional = A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.

In addition, the Brewers Association released the following charts:



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