Craft Beer Growth Influenced By Acquisitions

USA Today writer¬†Mike Snider reported this week that, “Big beer’s acquisitions of craft breweries caused slowing growth for smaller, independent brewers in 2016.

“Craft brewers sold $23.5 billion in 2016, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Brewers Association. That amounts to 21.9% of the $107 billion U.S. beer market. That’s up from 19% last year — and continued growth from the 10% that craft brewers held in 2012.

Craft beer makers increased volume output by 1.4 million barrels to 24.6 million barrels. That accounts for about 12.3% of U.S. beer production, up slightly from the 12.2% craft brewers had last year.”

The article noted that, “But the loss of craft breweries acquired by major beer makers such as Anheuser-Busch resulted in 1.2 million fewer barrels in the craft beer segment, the association said.”

Mr. Snider added that, “Among the major acquisitions in 2016: Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of Virginia’s Devils Backbone Brewing Co., and MillerCoors’ Tenth and Blake division’s acquisition of a majority stake in Terrapin Beer Co., of Athens, Ga.

“That hasn’t stopped the opening of new breweries across the U.S. During 2016, 826 new breweries opened, bringing the number of operating breweries to 5,301 (97 closed).”

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