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During the first six months of 2013, American craft beer dollar sales rose 15 percent and volume grew 13 percent, according to the Brewers Association (BA), Boulder, Colo. During the same time period last year, dollar sales increased 14 percent and volume grew 12 percent, the not-for-profit trade association reports.
During the first half of 2013, approximately 7.3 million barrels of beer were sold by small and independent craft brewers, up from 6.4 million barrels during the first half of 2012, BA notes. American craft beer continues to grow despite decreased overall beer sales, which were down 2 percent through the first six months of the year, it adds.
“Demand for beer produced by small and independent brewers has never been higher, as evidenced by increased production and the hundreds of new breweries joining the playing field each year,” said Paul Gatza, director of BA, in a statement. “Beer drinkers nationwide are responding positively to high-quality, full-flavored, diverse offerings from American craft brewing companies that continue to innovate and push the envelope.”
As of June 30, 2,538 breweries were operating in the United States, which is an increase of 446 breweries since June 2012. BA also lists an additional 1,605 breweries in planning at the year’s midpoint, compared with 1,252 a year ago. As of June 30, the count of craft breweries was at 2,483, showing that 98 percent of U.S. brewers are craft brewers.
“More breweries are currently operating in the U.S. than at any time since the 1870s,” Gatza said. “With each new brewery opening, American craft brewers are reinforcing the U.S.’s position as the world’s most diverse brewing nation. It’s a very good time to be an American beer lover.”