Sales of Craft Beer Jumped in 2013, but It Still Doesn't Dominate the Market

Categories: Wake Up Call

Heather Hoch
Craft beer sales are up. Are you surprised?
With about 15 craft breweries in the Phoenix area alone and almost every other bar in town carrying at least one craft brew, it may seem as though craft beer has taken over the market. According to NPR, the Brewers Association is reporting that sales of craft beer did increase 20 percent last year, with a 10.9 percent average growth in the past decade. Though sales (and even the number of breweries) are rapidly increasing, the total market share of craft versus big brand beers is still uneven.

See Also: 10 Best Breweries in Metro Phoenix

Even with the 20 percent increase in sales, the Brewers Association reports, craft beer constitutes only about 8 percent of total beer sales, making us regret every PBR we drank at a dive bar last year and every Bud Light we grudgingly chugged at a basketball game.

However, it isn't all about sales. The association goes on to note that there at 2,768 craft breweries operating in the U.S. alone last year, rising from about 2,300 in 2012. In Phoenix alone, we saw, among others, Arizona Wilderness Brewing open its doors and start pumping out some fantastic brews and even Cartel Coffee Lab expanded their brewing game from coffee to beer. With the announcement of a new brewery in downtown Phoenix called Mother Bunch Brewing, the craft brewing momentum is only continuing to grow and become more diverse and creative, even if it hasn't taken the market over yet.

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My Voice Nation Help

Local beer will not dominate the market until the laws get changed on how much beer a Arizona brewery can produce and the local distributors stop fighting the local brewers in fighting to change the law.  The local distributors have powerful lobbyists that the small local breweries can't afford. It is an unfair playing field because of rich distributors like McCain owns. One must ask why are the local distributors against having Arizona breweries succeed? Are they really that afraid of losing more Budweiser and Coors market share? 

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