|A recent report from the American Brewer’s Association has revealed what many Americans already know — that craft beer is really, really popular. From being the subject of a much talked about Superbowl ad, to being offered next to national beers in bars, and to being a staple in every hipster’s refrigerator, the American public has embraced craft beer.
Time reports that for the first time ever, the craft beer market share is in the double digits. This means that about one in 10 beers sold in the U.S. is a craft beer, which is about twice what it was just five years ago in 2010.
The production of craft beer jumped in 2013 — by 17.2% by volume which, of course, was partly to meet a growing demand. Additionally, the craft beer market in the United States is worth about $14 billion dollars.
To understand what craft beer is, you have to understand what a craft brewery is. According to the American Brewer’s Association, a brewery must meet three criteria. The brewery must be small, which means that it produces less beer than 6 million barrel each year. No more than a quarter of the brewery may be owned by a member of the alcoholic beverage industry that is not also a craft brewer. Lastly, the brewery must use traditional methods of flavoring and brewing beer.
Since the growth of the overall beer market in the U.S. was a less than 1%, experts expect that craft brewers are poised to help keep the beer market as a whole.
“With the total beer market up only 0.5% in 2014, craft brewers are key to keeping the overall industry innovative and growing,” said Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewers Association.
As it is now, there are about 3,500 craft breweries across the country, with over 175 in the state of Colorado alone. With America’s increasing appreciation for craft beer those numbers are sure to increase even more dramatically in the years to come.