Any regular DRAFT reader will know that beer can often be subjective—those swirling notes of dank, garlicky hops we dig in an IPA might be disgusting to someone else. Data, however, is harder to disagree with. The numbers below, collected from presentations on the state of the beer industry given at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference, are what they are. And taken together, they paint the picture of an industry and culture growing and changing at breakneck pace.
(Most of theses numbers, by the way, apply to breweries the Brewers Association considers “craft.” You can see the BA’s definition of a craft brewer here.)
21%: the share, in dollars, of the total beer market controlled by craft beer
12%: the share of the total beer market by sales volume
2.8 million: the growth in the number of barrels of craft beer sold over 2014’s numbers
25%+: the percentage of breweries that increased their brewing capacity by 50 percent or more in 2015
$36.58: the average price of a case of craft beer
6,080: the number, as of December 2015, of active TTB brewery licenses
4,283: the number, as of December 2015, of operating breweries. We’ll do the math for you: that means there are 1,797 owners holding licenses for breweries they likely plan to open within the next two years. That’s a pretty big number, considering…
620: the number of breweries that opened in 2015 (this is actually down from the all-time high of 881 in 2014)
67: the number of breweries that closed in 2015
3,925: the number of breweries in the U.S. producing between 0 and 7,500 barrels of beer each year. Together, these small breweries make up nearly 92 percent of the total number of beer producers in the country, but they only produce about 1.5 percent of all the beer we drink.
21: the number of breweries in the U.S. producing more than 2 million barrels of beer each year. Though a fraction of the brewery total, these producers make 84 percent of all beer consumed in the country.
26.5%: the percentage of supermarket beer sales, in dollars, owned by India Pale Ales. This means that more than a quarter of all craft beer sold at supermarkets is an IPA of some sort. The next closest style, “seasonal,” makes up about 14 percent of the dollar share.
199%: the growth over last year, in sales, of session IPAs
250%: the growth, in sales, of “tropical-flavored” beer variants. (A little more about flavored beers: In 2015, sales of brews spiked with oranges and tea increased 70 percent and 719 percent, respectively. Apple-, raspberry- and blackberry-flavored beer sales decreased by an average of about 13 percent.)
45%: the percentage of people over 21, according to a Nielsen survey, who said that whether a beer is made locally is “very important or somewhat important” to their purchase decisions. Narrow the respondents to those aged 21 to 34, and the percentage goes up to 53. Only 34 percetn of respondents in the same study said that wine’s local production was at least “somewhat important” to them; 23 percent said the same about liquor.
16: the number of states with 100 or more breweries
21: the number of states with at least two breweries per 100,000 drinking-age adults