- According to the Brewers Association, craft beer had a successful 2014 with its 11% volume market share, reaching double digits for the first time.
- Craft brewers also saw a total retail dollar value of $19.6 billion, or 19.3% of the retail market share.
- The number of operating U.S. craft breweries, including microbreweries, brewpubs, and regional craft breweries, jumped to 3,418 in 2014 — 3,464 breweries in total — for an increase of 19%.
The beer industry as a whole grew only 0.5% in 2014, so these numbers illustrate just how powerful craft beer has been in driving that growth. And craft beer isn't just good for beer itself. The craft beer industry is creating jobs, serving communities and local economies, and increasing tourism in those communities.
Bart Watson, chief economist of the Brewers Association, said in a press release, "This steady growth shows that craft brewing is part of a profound shift in American beer culture—a shift that will help craft brewers achieve their ambitious goal of 20 percent market share by 2020. Small and independent brewers are deepening their connection to local beer lovers while continuing to create excitement and attract even more appreciators.”
Even larger beer companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev are taking notice of the rising craft beer industry, having announced earlier this year that it would snatch up Elysian Brewing Company, among other craft breweries it already acquired. AB InBev even poked fun at craft beer in its Super Bowl commercial, which caused some controversy among craft brewers.
In other boozy news, women are becoming more prominent drinkers of whiskey. Spirits companies have even signed on actresses like Mila Kunis and Christina Hendricks to appear in their whiskey ads. According to NPR, women now make up 37% of whiskey drinkers, as compared to around 15% in the 1990s.