Craft Beer Drinkers Gulp Up Growth in Industry

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Craft brewers are still growing, according to new mid-​year data released by the Brewers Association —the not-​for-​profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers. American craft beer production volume increased eight percent during the first half of the year.

While the craft brewing industry is entering a period of maturation, most markets are not near saturation,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “As craft’s base gets larger, as with any industry, it becomes more difficult for it to grow at the same percentage rate. Yet there is still tremendous dynamism reflected in eight percent growth for craft.  Production growth of small and independent craft brewers continues to be one of the main bright spots for domestic beer in the U.S. Even in a more competitive market, for the vast majority of small and independent brewers, opportunities still exist.”

Also keep in mind the growing love of hard cider among this crafty crowd. AudienceSCAN found 6.5% of U.S. adults said "Hard Cider" when asked: "Which kinds of beverages do you enjoy at least once during a typical week?"

As of June 30, a record high of 4,656 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 917 breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were approximately 2,200 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 121,843 full-​time and part-​time workers in a variety of roles including many manufacturing jobs, all of which contribute significantly to the U.S. economy.

Craft Beer Drinkers respond to ads on a social networks. Actually, 45.7% of drinkers took action after seeing a social ad in the past month, according to AudienceSCAN results.

The opening rate compared to closing rate for breweries remains incredibly strong, with a historic number of breweries operating in the U.S.,” added Watson. “As long as there is growing consumer demand, beer lovers’ thirst will continue to advance the category of craft brewed beer from small and independent producers.”

Note: The data set includes the small and independent breweries that the Brewers Association anticipates being included in the 2016 data set.

Bars, retailers and brewers should invest in radio advertising to reach Craft Beer Drinkers too. AudienceSCAN found 69% of drinkers took action after hearing radio (over-​the-​air, online, mobile or tablet) spots in the past year.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.