The Brewers Association released strong mid-year craft brewer numbers for the first half of 2011, which is welcome news in light of the stagnant economic numbers and slow growth in the hospitality industry.
In the first half of 2011, dollar sales rose 15%, a record growth rate for the craft beer industry, while volume grew 14%, which compares favorably with the 9% growth in the first half of 2010.
Sales from craft beer totaled $3.88 billion for the first half of 2011, up from $3.37 billion in the first six months of 2010. Additionally, craft brewers sold an estimated 5.1 million barrels during the first half of 2011, an increase from the 4.6 million barrels sold during the same period in 2010.
The number of craft breweries in the United States is 1,790, reflecting 165 additional breweries established since June 2010. What’s more, 725 breweries are in planning stages currently, compared with 389 a year ago.
In a statement, Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, said that the growing interest in establishing new breweries is positive for the future of the industry.
“It seems like every day we are hearing about a brewery in planning. Will they all make it? No, but many will if they produce high-quality, interesting craft beers and can get them to market through self-distribution and beer wholesalers and beer retailers.”