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Craft Beer Numbers Up Again Mid-Year

Good news again this year for craft brewers. The Brewers Association has released the mid-year numbers and they’re positive again this year despite a rocky economy. Volume sales grew 9% over the same period last year and sales dollars are up 12% for the first six months of 2010 as compared to 2009. Last year those same stats were 5% and 9% respectively.

From the press release:

Craft breweries continue to grow despite many challenges, and currently provide an estimated 100,000 jobs and contribute significantly to the U.S. economy. Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year are an estimated 4.6 million, compared to 4.2 million barrels sold in the first half of 2009.

“While craft brewer sales volume climbed 9 percent in the first half of 2010, overall U.S. beer industry volume sales are down 2.7 percent so far,” noted Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “There is a movement by beer lovers to the innovative and flavorful beers created by America’s small and independent craft brewers. More people are starting to think of craft-brewed beer first when they buy in restaurants, bars and stores.”

The other great news is the number of new brewery openings, which continues to rise, too. 100 new breweries or brewpubs have opened over the last year. Picking up the press release again:

The U.S. now boasts 1,625 breweries—an increase of 100 additional breweries since July of 2009—and the highest number in 100 years. A century ago in 1910, consolidation and the run-up to Prohibition had reduced the number of breweries to 1,498.

“Entrepreneurs across the land are creating jobs by opening new microbreweries and brewpubs, and we are also seeing many homebrewing hobbyists going pro by starting what have been referred to as nanobreweries,” Gatza added. “Super tiny microbreweries or brew pubs, that make beer for a very localized network of taverns and stores, are starting to become a trend, primarily in the states that allow self-distribution as a means of getting beer to market.”

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