In May of 2014 I posted a blog entry titled "The Growth of Craft Beer." In that entry I wrote the following:
"The recently released figures for 2013 show craft beer holding a volume share of 7.8% and a dollar share of 14.3%! 2,768 craft breweries contributed to the 18% volume growth and 20% dollar growth that occurred during the year. This growth is astounding when viewed from any angle."
The preliminary 2014 data recently released by the Brewers Association proves that 2013 was no fluke. As of the end of 2014, craft beer now holds a volume share of 11% and a dollar share of 19.3%. That calculates to 18% volume growth and 22% dollar growth over the 2013 figures! The fact that the total beer market in the United States only grew 0.5% in 2014 makes the continued growth of craft beer even more impressive.
A 19% increase in the number of operating craft breweries (from 2,863 to 3,418) resulted in production increasing from 15.6 million barrels in 2013 to 22.2 million barrels in 2014. Of those 3,418 craft breweries, 1,871 are considered microbreweries, 1,412 are brewpubs, and 135 are regional craft breweries. Total new openings during 2014 totaled 615, while only 46 previously operating craft breweries closed their doors.
The Brewers Association typically releases finalized data following the Craft Brewers Conference (April 14-17 in Portland, Oregon). Data for individual states is also released at that time; Virginia's growth should mirror or even outpace what we are seeing on the national level. Check back next month for a look at those figures! The likelihood of reaching the Brewers Association's stated goal of 20% volume share by 2020 definitely increased with the success of craft beer in 2014!