Just two weeks after releasing its its annual lists of the top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S. for last year, the Brewers Association (BA) has announced its analysis of the craft beer industry for 2016.
According to the trade group, the craft beer industry is still growing, and now includes more than 5,300 small and independent breweries that represent 12.3 percent of the overall beer industry by market share volume. Those breweries produced 24.6 million barrels of beer, an increase of of six percent in volume and a 10 percent increase in retail dollar value compared to 2015. In fact, the retail value of the beer produced by craft breweries was pegged at $23.5 billion, which represents a 21.9 percent market share.
“Small and independent brewers are operating in a new brewing reality still filled with opportunity, but within a much more competitive landscape,” said Bart Watson, chief economist of the Brewers Association, in a press release. “As the overall beer market remains static and the large global brewers lose volume, their strategy has been to focus on acquiring craft brewers. This has been a catalyst for slower growth for small and independent brewers and endangered consumer access to certain brands. Small and independent brewers were able to fill in the barrels lost to acquisitions and show steady growth but at a rate more reflective of today’s industry dynamics.”
Small and independent breweries accounted for 99 percent of the total breweries in operation, and there were a total of 826 new breweries that opened in 2016 as well as 97 closings. In addition, the number of craft breweries operating in the U.S. last year grew to 5,301, an increase of 16.6 percent:
- 3,132 microbreweries — 21 percent increase compared to 2015
- 1,916 brewpubs — 11 percent increase compared to 2015
- 186 regional craft breweries — four percent increase compared to 2015
- 67 large or otherwise non-craft brewers
The Brewers Association is a not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers.