In recent years the number of Craft Breweries in the United States has increased exponentially. In 1980 there were less than 100 Craft Breweries in the U.S. In 1999, before the turn of the century, the number of craft breweries had increased to over 1,500. Presently there are over 2,700 craft breweries in the United States and the growing number of craft breweries does not seem like a trend that will end anytime soon.
Statistics offered by the Brewers Association show that the number of Breweries is increasing at a steady pace. Between 2012 and 2013 there was a 15.3% increase in the number of breweries nationwide. The increase in the number of breweries across the country is great news for the beer connoisseur who is constantly on the hunt for their new favorite beer. However, what really illustrates the success of the Craft Beer industry is market share.
What Effect Has The Increased Number Of Breweries Had On Market Share?
The beer industry is as competitive an industry as there is in the United States. With top dogs like Anheuser-Busch Inc, MillerCoors and Pabst Brewing Company spending millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads, radio campaigns and billboards it’s hard to see how a craft brewery with limited resources can compete in the marketplace. But they are more than competing.
In 1998 Craft Breweries had 2.3 percent of the market share while Import Beers (8.4%) and Non-Craft Beer (89%) had the remainder of the market share. Through hard work, creativity, flavorful beers and a change in consumer decision making Craft Breweries have begun to take a bite into the Domestic Beer Market Share. In 2013 Craft Breweries had 8% of the U.S. Beer Market Share. This is a substantial increase in market share which has even scared some of the largest breweries, such as Anheuser-Busch into purchasing Craft Breweries. In 2014 alone Anheuser-Busch has bought two Breweries, Blue Point in New York and 10 Barrel in Bend Oregon.
To Craft Brewers this is a really big deal, but it can also be viewed as a good sign. If Anheuser-Busch thought that the rise of Craft Breweries was just a fad they wouldn’t be purchasing them.
The fact is that no matter how many Crafty Breweries are purchased by the big boys they won’t be able to deliver the same product that is offered by an independently owned and operated Craft Brewery. The typical Craft Beer consumer is not someone who is going to go out and buy a 6 pack of a Domestic Beer Company’s “Craft Like Beer”.
What they are looking for is an experience. Craft Beer consumers are looking for a beer that was carefully brewed and bottled. Not a beer that was produced on a mass scale and distributed throughout the entire country. Craft Beer consumers also want to feel like they are supporting a business that is offering an outstanding product. That is a feeling that a company the size of Anheuser-Busch can never provide no matter how hard they try.
The Craft Beer Industry is here to stay. If the increasing number of Breweries nationwide and climbing market share isn’t enough proof take a sip of your favorite Craft Beer. You’ll remember why Craft Breweries are here to stay.