Brewers association

Brewers Association mid-year results show steady growth for craft segment

Boulder, Colorado • August 1, 2017—Small independent craft brewers showed continued, but slowing growth, according to new mid-year metrics released by the Brewers Association (BA), the nonprofit trade association dedicated to small independent American brewers. US craft beer production volume increased 5% in the first half of 2017.

“The pace of growth for small independent brewers has stabilized at a rate that still reflects progress but in a more mature market. Although harder to achieve, the growth still exists,” said Bart Watson, Chief Economist, Brewers Association. “The beer world is very competitive and there is certainly a mixed bag in terms of performance. Some breweries continue to grow, while others need to evolve their position and seize new opportunities to ensure they keep pace. Many brewers benefit from on-site and floor sales, and recent state reforms have the potential to help brewers in new regions capitalize on this growth.

As of June 30, there were 5,562 breweries operating in the United States, an increase of 906 from the same period a year earlier. Additionally, there were approximately 2,739 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ approximately 128,768 full-time and part-time workers in a variety of roles, including many manufacturing jobs, all of which contribute significantly to the US economy.

“Craft brewers are beacons of innovation, revitalization and collaboration,” added Watson. “Their contributions not only to the brewing community, but to the economy as a whole, are significant and invaluable. From federal excise tax reform to ensuring the right to free and fair market access, there are opportunities to help craft brewers continue to thrive.

Definition of a Craft Brewer: An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (about 3% of annual sales in the United States). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternate ownership. Independent: less than 25% of the craft brewer is owned or controlled (or an equivalent economic interest) by a member of the beverage alcohol industry who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer whose majority of the total volume of alcohol in beverages is made up of beers whose flavor comes from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMB) are not considered beers.

Contact: Matt Sutton (on behalf of the Brewers Association), (212) 255-8478


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 cupSM, 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 largest 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 Brew Guru™ mobile app. follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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 11246 and relevant rules, regulations and orders of the Secretary of Labor.