USA: Brewers Association highlights continued growth of craft beer sector in 2019
As 2019 comes to a close, the Brewers Association (BA) the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers takes a retrospective look at the contributions and major milestones of the countrys craft brewing community during the past year. Continued growth, record brewery count, and craft beers museum debut are a few of the highlights from a memorable year for the industry.
Small and independent breweries continue to be essential contributors to communities across the country, finding new ways to innovate and thrive amid evolving consumer preference and a competitive and maturing beverage market, said Julia Herz, craft beer program director, Brewers Association. Its been an exciting year for both brewers and beer lovers alike and we look forward to celebrating new beerworthy moments in 2020.
Of note in 2019:
Growth Amidst Competition: Craft brewing production grew in 2019, but as with 2018, the continued increase in breweries meant that the market also grew more competitive, particularly in widely distributed channels. The BA 2019 midyear survey measured 4% production growth year-over-year for small and independent brewers, slightly down from 5% in 2018. IRI Group scan data numbers through mid-November showed 2% growth for BA-defined craft brewers, similar to 2018 during the same period, and given reports in the second half of the year, 4% overall growth again seems likely for 2019.
Small Beers Big Impact: Brewery growth has driven tremendous job growth as well. The BAs Economic Impact Report, a biennial analysis featuring economic data of craft brewing for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, showed that craft brewers contributed $79.1 million to the U.S. economy in 2018, a 4% increase from 2017. Craft brewers were responsible for more than 550,000 full-time equivalent jobs, an 11% increase from 2017, with 150,000 of those jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs.
Record Brewery Count: Although final 2019 numbers are still being compiled, it is certain that more than 8,000 American breweries operated in 2019, a record number for the United States. At the same time, the competitive market led to more closures, and an estimated 300 breweries will have closed in 2019.
Certified Independent: More than 4,700 brewing companies have adopted the independent craft brewer seal, representing nearly 80% of craft beer brewed in the United States. In October, Delawares 21 small and independent craft breweries became the first state with 100% adoption of the seal.
Beer is Bipartisan: 324 representatives and 74 senators co-sponsored the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act in the 116th Congress, resulting in unprecedented bipartisan support. The BA has been a key player in moving forward this legislation that seeks to permanently recalibrate the federal excise tax for the nations brewers and reform burdensome laws regulating Americas brewing industry.
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