You may have seen this at one of the other beer blogs, but even if you have, it bears repeating. According to numbers just released by the Brewers Association – who I am sure chose a Canadian holiday to issue their press release, so the American writers could get a jump on those of us who work north of the border – American craft brewing is up again for the first half of 2010, 12% in terms of dollar sales and 9% in volume.
To put those statistics in context, you need to remember that almost nothing in the beverage alcohol world is up these days. I receive a multitude of newsletters and press releases every day, and I can assure you that the bad news outstrips the good by a considerable margin. From wine to spirits to domestic and imported mainstream beer, sales are down all over and exceptions are few and far between.
In this environment, craft beer grows almost 10%! Which does not mean that more Americans are drinking or that Americans are drinking more per capita – they’re not, on both counts – but that Americans are simply choosing domestic craft beer more and more often these days, despite economic conditions that promote restraint and the generally higher price of craft brews.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is no niche, this is no fluke and this is no abnormality. This is craft beer and it is going to continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Trust me on this.