Craft Brewers Conference Recap from the CCBA

CCBA and craft brewers from across California and the nation attended the Brewers Association’s Craft Brewers Conference in Washington DC last week. At the event, Bart Watson and Paul Gatza shared information and data about the current state of the industry. Overall, they discussed a marketplace that is increasingly crowded and competitive, putting a squeeze on the midsize “regional” breweries, but showing  room from growth in the smaller, neighborhood focused categories. Some key points they touched on are included below:

  • In 2016 the BA saw 6% growth by volume within the BA-defined craft market (compared to 13% the prior year), but the overall beer market remained flat
  • Volume share for craft was 12.3% and dollar share was 29%
  • In 2016, 9.4% of sales from small and independent brewers occurred at the brewery with 88% still in distribution
  • The majority of closures among breweries across the nation were due to capacity decisions, with bankruptcy occurring when capacity was increased without sales increasing in the market
  • Adaptability is key and the continued success of craft breweries will be based on quality and business models

On the consumer front the BA has seen growing uncertainty, with many craft consumers making wrong assumptions about acquisitions and ownership and what “craft” means. But beer drinkers still want the community of craft – trying beers that are local, new and fun and increasingly making connections between beer and food.

For more information about craft beer growth by the numbers, visit the BA’s Blog.