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American Craft Beer Continues Global Expansion

March 19, 2009


In what is becoming a true success story, American craft beer exports again grew by double digits in 2008. The Brewers Association reports that estimated international sales by independent craft brewers were up 25 percent by volume and 38 percent in dollars for 2008.

The Brewers Association recently concluded its annual export survey, which revealed that for the sixth consecutive year (the only years for which data has been collected); U.S. craft beer exports increased substantially with solid growth to all markets. Exports to Canada rose by 78 percent on the heels of new general listings with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. In Europe (the largest export market for American craft beers), shipments rose 16 percent by volume with consistent gains in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. In Japan, American craft beer exports grew by 51 percent while exports elsewhere in Asia grew by 53 percent, driven largely by gains in China and the Philippines.

The Brewers Association would like to thank all breweries that responded to the survey. The data is compiled and distributed only in aggregate, but the information is critical to the Brewers Association's ongoing efforts to secure support for its export development activities. The Brewers Association's export activities are guided by an industry steering committee chaired by Brett Joyce of Rogue Ales. Reacting to the release of these 2008 statistics, Mr. Joyce stated, "The 25 percent growth in American craft breweries' exports in 2008 is clear proof that beer drinkers throughout the world are discovering the quality, creativity and diversity of U.S. craft beers. The Export Development Committee is thrilled that U.S. craft beer can be enjoyed on four continents and we look forward to continuing our momentum, growth, and geographic expansion in 2009."

Based in Boulder, Colorado, USA, the Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade and education association for American craft brewers and community of beer enthusiasts. Visit the Web site, www.beertown.org, to learn more. The association’s activities include events and publishing: World Beer Cup®; Great American Beer Festivalsm; Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®; National Homebrewers Conference; National Homebrew Competition; SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience; American Craft Beer Week; Zymurgy magazine; The New Brewer magazine; and books on beer and brewing. The Brewers Association has an additional membership division of 17,000+ homebrewers: American Homebrewers Association.


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