Brewers association

Big year for small independent beers in 2019

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The Brewers Association looks back on the greatest moments in American craft beer

Boulder, Colorado.December 10, 2019 – As 2019 draws to a close, the Brewers Association (BA) – the nonprofit trade association dedicated to small independent American brewers – takes a look back at the contributions and milestones of the country’s craft brewing community in the course of the past year. Continued growth, record number of breweries and the debut of the Craft Beer Museum are some of the highlights of a momentous year for the industry.

“Small, independent breweries continue to be vital contributors to communities across the country, finding new ways to innovate and thrive amid changing consumer preferences and a growing and competitive beverage market. maturity,” said Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Manager, Brewers Association. “It’s been an exciting year for brewers and beer lovers alike and we look forward to celebrating more beer-worthy moments in 2020.”

To note in 2019:

  • Growth in the midst of competition: Craft brew production increased in 2019, but similar to 2018, the continued increase in brews has made the market more competitive as well, especially in widely distributed channels. The 2019 BA Mid-Year Survey measured 4% year-on-year output growth for small independent brewers, down slightly from 5% in 2018. The data figures IRI Group’s analysis through mid-November showed 2% growth for BA-defined craft brewers, similar to 2018 over the same period, and given second-half reports, growth of 4% again seems likely for 2019.
  • The big impact of small beer: The growth of the brewery has also led to considerable employment growth. The BA Economic Impact Report, a biannual analysis featuring economic data on craft brewing for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, showed that craft brewers contributed $79.1 billion to the US economy. in 2018, an increase of 4% compared to 2017. Craft brewers were responsible for more than 550,000 full-time equivalent jobs, an increase of 11% compared to 2017, including 150,000 directly in breweries and breweries .
  • Record number of breweries: Although final numbers for 2019 are still being compiled, it is certain that more than 8,000 American breweries were operating in 2019, a record number for the United States. At the same time, the competitive market has led to more closures and an estimated 300 breweries will have closed in 2019.
  • Certified Independent: More than 4,700 brewing companies have adopted the independent craft brewer seal, representing nearly 80% of craft beer brewed in the United States. In October, Delaware’s 21 small independent craft breweries became the first state to 100% adopt the seal.
  • Beer is bipartite: 324 Representatives and 74 Senators co-sponsored the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act during the 116th Congress, resulting in unprecedented bipartisan support. The BA has been a key player in advancing this legislation which aims to permanently recalibrate the federal excise tax for brewers nationwide and reform the binding laws governing the US brewing industry.
  • Happy Holidays : The Brewers Association has launched two new national holidays — National Independent Beer Day on July 3 and Small Brewery Sunday on December 1 — to encourage beer lovers to celebrate and support America’s small independent brewers.
  • Innovation Nation: From Gose to Hazy, barleywine to non-alcoholic and everything in between, America’s independent craft breweries continue to innovate and adapt to changing consumer lifestyles, tastes and occasions.
  • Crafting Community: To promote a more inclusive and diverse craft beer community, the Brewers Association awarded its first Diversity & Inclusion Event Grants to six events across the country. Applications for the second year of the grant program are accepted until December 31, 2019.
  • Night at the museum: Brew a revolution, an exhibit as part of the “FOOD: Transforming the American Table” exhibit, opening at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, highlighting the history and industry of craft and home brewing in the United States. The exhibit is the result of the Brewing History initiative, made possible with support from the Brewers Association, to collect, document and preserve the history of brewing, craft brewers and the beer industry in America.
  • Silver Screen Suds: For the love of craftsmanship, a short documentary produced by the Brewers Association, Studio C3 and Charlie Papazian, debuted in Denver. The film, which features several luminaries from the craft beer community, has been screened more than 100 times in eight countries and has been accepted at the Denver and Napa Valley Film Festivals.

A comprehensive 2019 industry analysis will be presented at the annual conference Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America® held in San Antonio, Texas from April 19 to April 22, 2020. Conference Registration is currently open to brewing industry personnel and the media with pre-registration pricing available through February 6.

Contact: Jenelle Scott (on behalf of the Brewers Association), 970-963-4873 x224


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 5,600 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® & 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® and on homebrewing via BAs American Homebrew Association® and free Brewing Guru® mobile app. follow us on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, orientation or marital/family status. The BA complies with the provisions of Executive Order 13672 and relevant rules, regulations and orders of the Secretary of Labor.