America’s Beer Distributors Celebrate Craft Beer Week

ALEXANDRIA, VA — America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributors are celebrating the excitement that craft beer brings to the beer industry during American Craft Beer Week, May 12-18, 2014, a national celebration highlighting the culture and contributions of craft beer and craft breweries across the United States.

According to 2013 data released by the Brewers Association (BA), craft brewers experienced an 18 percent growth in volume and represent 7.8 percent of the U.S. beer market volume, which is up from 6.5 percent just a year earlier. According to the BA, small and independent American brewers sold approximately 15.6 million barrels of beer in 2013, and craft beer has averaged nearly 11 percent growth each year over the past decade. The BA also reported that there were 2,822 breweries (including more than 1,200 brewpubs) operating in the U.S. in 2013, with 98 percent (2,768) being craft breweries. That number includes the more than 400 new breweries that opened for business in 2013 across the country.

“Craft beer continues to provide a significant contribution to the American beer industry and the overall economy,” said NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser. “NBWA is proud of the role that independent beer distributors play to help the craft beer industry thrive. The tremendous growth in craft beer sales underscores the excitement of independent beer distributors in partnering with America’s craft brewers to help them reach a wide network of retailers and increase their value.”

“This success is due in large part to the effectiveness of the independent distribution system that allows access to market for brewers of all sizes and a state-based regulatory system that works to level the playing field between brewers, distributors and retailers,” Purser continued. “When it comes to market access, brewers have more routes to market than ever before. Thanks to thousands of different distribution channels, today’s marketplace offers an unparalleled number of styles, varieties and flavors of beer to consumers from coast to coast. American Craft Beer Week is a great opportunity to celebrate this variety.”

NBWA and the BA will present the Eighth Annual Craft Beer Distributor of the Year Award on October 4, 2014, at the Great American Beer Festival® in Denver, Colorado. The award recognizes an American beer distributor who goes above and beyond in their efforts to actively market, sell and promote craft beer. In addition to the Craft Beer Distributor of the Year Award, a Craft Beer Distributor Achievement Award (first runner-up) and a Craft Beer Distributor Recognition Award (second runner-up) will be presented. Nominations must be submitted by July 11, 2014. For entry rules and the nomination form, visit

For more information about American Craft Beer Week, including celebratory events in your area, visit


The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents the interests of America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Beer distributors are committed to ensuring alcohol is provided safely and responsibly to consumers of legal drinking age through the three-tier, state-based system of alcohol regulation and distribution. To learn more about America’s beer distributors, visit For additional updates from NBWA, follow @NBWABeer on Twitter, watch NBWA videos on and visit

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