Craft-Beer Sales Reach Double Digits for the First Time

MILWAUKEE (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/TNS) -

Craft beers accounted for 11 percent of U.S. beer sales volume in 2014, marking the first time that segment reached the double-digit mark, according to an annual industry report.

Craft brewers last year produced 22.2 million barrels, and saw an 18 percent increase in sales volume and a 22 percent increase in retail dollar sales, according to the Brewers Association, a trade group representing small and independent craft brewers. Craft brewers hope to account for a 20 percent market share by 2020, said Bart Watson, the association’s chief economist.

The number of operating breweries grew 19 percent, totaling 3,464 breweries, with 3,418 considered craft breweries, including 1,871 microbreweries, 1,412 brew pubs and 135 regional craft breweries. There were 615 new brewery openings in 2014, and 46 closings.