In a video interview with multimedia correspondent Akiko Fujita, Watson said shared updated figures on the amount of craft breweries currently operating throughout the U.S. The latest number? 3,250.
“We’re seeing growth all over the country,” Watson, told Yahoo’s Market Pulse. “Almost 75 percent of Americans now live within ten miles of a brewery, so it’s not just one place. We’re seeing dynamic growth in a lot of different markets.”
While craft beer sales have been on the rise — to the tune of 18 percent through the first half of 2014 — not all of that growth has come at the expense of larger brewers, Watson admits.
“It [craft] has its own growth logic now,” he said. “Much of the growth is coming both from increased consumption, from craft beer lovers, and as well from other sources outside of beer. Craft is moving into new spaces, taking over occasions from wine and spirits. While certainly there is probably some volume trade off with the large brewers in the U.S., a lot of it is its own dynamic right now.”
As for any wealthy individuals looking to invest in the craft space, Watson suggests going to a local craft brewery and asking what opportunities exist.
“It’s a dynamic growth market right now, so we are seeing a lot of people who are interested in buying and not a lot of people who are interested in selling,” he said. “Frankly go talk to your local brewery and see if there are investment opportunities.”
I guess some small brewers ought to prepare for a visit from a rotund gentleman in a different type of “suit” this holiday season.
You can check out the entire Yahoo finance segment, here.