News highlights, market trends, and original data analysis related to the U.S. retail food & beverage industry … by Jay Nargundkar
A couple weeks ago, The Atlantic had a wonderful summary of an in-depth study on the U.S. beer industry conducted by Beverage Digest. There are all sorts of interesting stats and trend info in there, but a few things in particular stood out.
Below, the data from the Atlantic summary is presented in one handy infographic summarizing the state of beer in the United States (click to enlarge):
Will Gordon on Deadspin had this interesting factoid on the resurgence of craft beer:
A huge wave of post-WWII brewing-industry consolidation killed the stylistic diversity and market competition that makes for great beer. There were fewer than 100 American breweries left by the late 1970s, but now we’re back up over 2,500, and the new ones are almost universally superior to the holdovers from the Carter-era nadir of American suds production.
For the record, what qualifies as “craft” beer? Brewers Association, a trade group, states the most current definition of the term:
An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional.
Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.