United States / Analyst Insights
Craft Beer: America’s Fastest Growing Alcoholic Beverage Industry
by IBISWorld
Mar 20 2015

The Craft Beer Production industry is the fastest growing alcoholic beverage segment in the United States. The industry has grown 19.1% annually in the five years to 2015, reaching an estimated $5.1 billion in 2015.

As Americans increasingly demand a greater variety of beers, craft brewers have captured a significant portion of drinkers who traditionally purchased light and premium beers. While over a quarter of craft beer production is India Pale Ale (IPA), the recent growth in female beer drinkers and their preference for seasonal beers played a role in increased sales.

“Although the industry mostly consists of many small-sized players, there has been increasing consolidation and expansion among some of the industry’s largest brewers,” said IBISWorld analyst Nick Petrillo. Brewers such as Magic Hat and Pyramid, once significant independent brewers, have been acquired by holding company North American Breweries. Other companies, such as Sierra Nevada and Lagunitas, have constructed massive secondary brewing locations to facilitate beer distribution across a greater region of the United States.

In response to the increasing popularity of craft breweries, international beer manufacturing companies, MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev, have aggressively promoted their respective Blue Moon and Shock Top wheat beer competitor brands in an attempt to capture growing craft beer sales.

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Although craft brewers and their competitors alike have speculated that the rapid revenue growth among industry brewers is poised to plateau due to market saturation, consumer demand for craft beer remains robust. Over the next five years, IBISWorld projects the industry to grow an annualized rate of 5.5%, reaching $6.6 billion by the end of 2020.