U.S craft brewers continued their incredible growth through the first half of 2013, boasting 15 percent dollar sales growth and 13 percent volume growth over the same time period last year. Craft brewers produced over 13.2 million barrels in 2012 and the BA estimates that 7.3 million barrels have already been sold during the first half of 2013, up from 6.4 million barrels a year ago.
“Demand for beer produced by small and independent brewers has never been higher, as evidenced by increased production and the hundreds of new breweries joining the playing field each year,” Paul Gatza, Brewers Association director, said in a release.
As Gatza alluded, the number of craft breweries has also swelled in recent years. There are now 2,538 breweries – 2,483 of which are defined as “craft” by the BA — operating in the U.S., an increase of 446 since last June. Less than 1,750 craft breweries were operating in 2010.
“More breweries are currently operating in the U.S. than at any time since the 1870s.” Gatza said in the statement. “With each new brewery opening, American craft brewers are reinforcing the U.S.’s position as the world’s most diverse brewing nation. It’s a very good time to be an American beer lover.”
An additional 1,605 breweries are also currently in planning, according to the Brewers Association.