Beer in America dates back to the 1500’s. According to Beer Advocate, colonists brewed ale using corn in 1587 and the first shipment of beer from England arrived in the “New World” in 1587. Adrian Block and Hans Christiansen establish the first known brewery in the “New World”, Manhattan actually, in 1612. For an interesting 400 plus year historical timeline of beer in the US take a look at http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/history_american_beer
This brings us to modern day 2013. As of March 2013 there were 2,360 craft breweries in the US and 56 non-craft breweries. The growth of the craft beer industry in 2012 alone was 15% by volume and 17% by retail dollars and the industry routinely has enjoyed double digit growth. The craft brew retail dollar value in 2012 was estimated at $10.2 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2011. Without a doubt the craft brew industry is still growing at quite a clip and producing significant sales numbers. What is interesting is that total beer sales were up less than 1%.
So what does that mean? I believe beer drinkers in general are developing a more sophisticated palate and are switching from non-craft, mass produced beers such as Budweiser, Coors, and Miller, to craft beer options. They may not be abandoning the big name brands completely but they are certainly indulging in the craft beer products. Furthermore, I would also speculate that new beer drinkers are going straight to the craft beer tap and bypassing the traditional big brands all together. Craft beers are cool and show sophistication, not to mention they taste a hell of a lot better. I think it goes without saying; this industry is here to stay and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
So what about you? Are you a craft beer fan? Did you convert to craft beer or did you start as a craft beer fan?