Recession? Not for Craft Brewers!

It’s always nice to have one’s observations confirmed with cold, hard fact. So I was delighted to receive this morning a release from the Boulder, Colorado-based Brewers Association that supports my year-long contention that craft beer is still booming, even in face of these extraordinary economic times.

Yes, fellow beer enthusiast, craft beer is up 5% in volume and 9% in dollar value the first half of 2009, according to BA statistics. And it isn’t just the same old participants selling more beer, either, as the number of breweries in the United States has topped 1500 for the first time in a century, according to the BA release, totalling 1525 at present.

I don’t have the numbers to support it, but would I say that imported craft beers are up, too? Yes, I would. And is the situation the same in Canada? I believe so.

I said many, many years ago for the first time that when people graduate from sawdust and ground beef to sirloin steak, they don’t happily retreat to their old ways simply because it is a little cheaper. These numbers, I believe, prove that while major label drinkers might be willing to trade down to cheaper brands of beer during hard economic times, craft beer drinkers are much more reluctant to follow suit.

Good for us!

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