Boulder, CO • December 13, 2017 – Strong brewery growth, increased beer tourism and the launch of the independent craft brewer seal – with over 2,700 craft brewers signed up – were all part of a pivotal year for craft beer in 2017. The Brewers Association (BA) – the nonprofit trade association dedicated to small, independent American brewers – looks back on the year’s beer highlights.
“Craft brewers continue to thrive, albeit at a slower pace, fueled by a passionate community dedicated to bringing innovation, jobs and beer across America, to Main Street and beyond,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Today, 83% of the population lives within 10 miles of a local brewery, meaning the positive impact of breweries is felt in communities across the country.”
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To note in 2017:
- Steady growth: 6,000 breweries were in operation in 2017, 98% of which were small independent craft breweries.
- Jobs and economic impact: The BA Economic Impact Report, a biennial analysis featuring economic data on craft brewing for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, showed that craft brewers contributed $67.8 billion to the US economy. in 2016, an increase of 21.7% compared to 2014. Craft brewers were responsible for more than 456,373 full-time equivalent jobs, an increase of 7.5% compared to 2014, including 128,768 jobs directly in breweries and breweries.
- Independent Craft Brewer Seal: To help educate beer lovers about independently produced beers, the BA launched a seal in June promoting the merits of independent craft brewers. Featuring an iconic upside-down beer bottle shape, the seal captures the spirit with which craft brewers revolutionized beer, while letting beer lovers know they’re choosing a beer from an independent brewery. To date, more than 2,700 small independent craft breweries, representing over 75% of national volume, have signed up to use the seal.
- Can’t beat them? Buy them: Resume crafting, a tongue-in-cheek crowdfunding campaign to raise $213 billion to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev, was launched to draw attention to the lack of transparency and growing disparity in market influence between small independent brewers and Big Beer. Nearly 12,000 craft beer enthusiasts lent their support.
- Bipartisan support for beer: The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA), championed by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI) and Senator Bob Portman (R-OH), was reintroduced in the 115and Congress and achieved majority support in both houses. If passed, the bill — which was added as an amendment to the Senate tax reform bill in November — would significantly reduce the federal excise tax on the first 60,000 barrels of any domestic brewer. which produces less than 2 million barrels per year and would reduce the federal excise tax on the barrel by up to 6 million barrels.
- Homebrewing heats up: There are currently approximately 1.1 million home brewers in the United States, and in 2017, home brewers produced over 1.4 million barrels of beer, or 1% of total US beer production. . The National Homebrew Competition, organized by the American Homebrew Associationcontinues to be the largest beer competition in the world with 8,618 entries from 3,530 home brewers around the world.
- Beer and taprooms are booming: Beer tourism is growing, with the average craft drinker visiting 3.5 breweries close to home and 2.5 breweries within two hours’ drive. Additionally, 64% of respondents said that visiting a brewery or taproom was a new or different opportunity to drink beer, indicating that brewery tours created a new channel for sale for beer.
- #Give Back: America’s craft brewers aren’t just good at making great-tasting beer, they’re also a force for good. Craft brewers gave about $73.4 million to charitable causes in 2016, up from $71 million in 2014.
“It has been an incredible year for the craft beer community, with both challenges and successes. The need to advocate and educate beer drinkers about the importance and value of craft brewers to our nation and culture is underscored more than ever,” said Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Manager, Brewers Association. “What is particularly rewarding is seeing the positive impacts that beer tourism and independent breweries are having on local communities.”
Contact: Lori Rosen, on behalf of the Brewers Association, 212-255-8455.
About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association (BA) is the nonprofit trade association dedicated to America’s small, independent brewers, their beers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents more than 4,000 American breweries. The BA Independent Craft Brewer Seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers from small independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the beer world cup℠, Great American Oktoberfest®, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®, FLAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer and Dining Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The new brewer® magazines, and Brewers publications™ is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the United States
Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the vibrant world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and on homebrewing via BAs American Homebrew Association and free Brew Guru™ mobile app. follow us on Facebook and Twitter.