Craft Beer Category Up 14.7 Percent, Despite Decline Of Overall Beer Category

DENVER, CO – The Brewers Association and SymphonyIRI Group Senior Vice President, Dan Wandel, hosted an hour-long teleconference today discussing the state of the craft beer category thus far for 2011.

While it is already well known that the craft beer movement is alive and flourishing across the U.S., a few more interesting pieces of data about the overall beer category emerged from today’s discussion.

Earlier this month, The Brewers Association reported dollar sales being up 15 percent for the first half of 2011, meaning that craft beers are on pace to achieve their sixth consecutive year of double-digit dollar sales growth in Supermarkets.

Today it was announced that craft beer has, for the first time, reached a 10 percent dollar share of the overall beer category in supermarkets — nearly double since 2005.

Listed below are some of the more important points that directly impact the craft beer category:

  • Blue Moon Belgian White Ale cracks top 15 beer brands by dollar sales for first time.
  • Ninkasi Brewing leads all Craft Vendors this year based on new product Dollar Sales ($1.5M)
  • Private Label beer sales are on the rise with 1,381,243 cases sold YTD for 2011. 1,295,522 sold in all of 2010.
  • Six of the top nine craft beer and specialty beer brands based on case sales growth are made by MillerCoors or A-B.
  • Bell’s Brewery has moved into the number 8 position of craft beer vendors based on dollar sales with $7.5MM, an increase of 30.5 percent since last year. Stone Brewing Co. moves into 10th with $7.1MM, an increase of 22.8 percent since last year.
  • Total craft dollars, YTD, are $448.1MM. The top 15 brands account for 40% of all craft dollar sales. The best-selling brand is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
  • Canned craft beer offerings are continuing to grow. 6-packs, 120z cans up 121 percent over last year.
  • IPA’s passed Pale Ale to become the number two selling craft beer style in supermarkets. @53 IPA brands are selling in supermarkets compared to 177 in 2010.
  • Samuel Adams is approaching their “sweet spot” for seasonal selling. 39 percent of their seasonal case sales in 2010 were made between September and November.
  • Craft beer has outsold premium brands in Oregon since October 31st 2010.
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