Checking in from the Craft Brewers Conference

Written by on March 28, 2013 in Beer - 2 Comments

Drink Up Columbus (ok just me) is at the Brewers Association Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, DC. The Brewers Association is the trade association which represents small and independent breweries across the country.

In between beers and meeting new folks I did remember to soak in some knowledge, so here’s some of the interesting stuff I learned from day one:

We’ve got quite the booming beer scene in our own area, but craft beer is also on the rise nationwide. Craft beer production volume grew 15% in 2012, while the dollar amount grew 17%. There were 409 new breweries opened in 2012 – the most since right after prohibition (and several of them based locally – I’m looking at you, Hoof Hearted, North High Brewing and Zauber.)

In industry trends, many brewers are opening second and even third breweries to meet market needs far away from their flagship brewery rather than shipping product across the country. Speaking of shipping, the export of American craft beer increased 72% in 2012 up to 189,000 barrels, with top markets for export being Canada, Sweden, Japan and Australia.

Neilsen shared some interesting data on craft beer sales. Boomers at 34.6% edge out millennials at 32.9% for purchasing the most crafts, with Generation X at 23.9%. Females account for only 28.1% of craft beer purchases. (I account for 2% of that.)

Seasonal/assorted beers are preferred with 30% of the dollar share; hoppy styles came in second at 21%. For flavored beers, berry has a 48% dollar share, with fruit except berry/citrus at 24%, honey at 11%, choc/vanilla at 9%, citrus/tropical at 5% and coffee at 3%. Some of the other more bizarre flavors that are available in beer are acai, bacon maple, chilli, ginger, PB&J, seaweed, plum and pecan pie.

If you’re looking to package beer or just interested in more data: the 12 ounce bottle is an overwhelming favorite, accounting for 88% of dollar share, with the 22 ounce bottle at 4% and the 12 ounce can at 3%. As far as grouping goes, the six-pack is a strong favorite at 54%, with 12-packs at 34% and single bottles at 9%.

I’m going to check out the expo hall and some more sessions today, cheers!

About the Author

Cheryl Harrison. Editor of Drink Up Columbus. Geek of the craft beer/board game/sci-fi varieties. Fan of patios.

2 Comments on "Checking in from the Craft Brewers Conference"

  1. BringCitrus April 2, 2013 at 11:26 PM · Reply

    Favorite new beers discovered there?

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