Bob Pease, CEO/President of the Brewers Association the not-for-profit trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers, reviews 2019 and looks forward to 2020.

Last year was a busy time for the American craft brewing industry and I want to highlight a few achievements:

American craft brewing production grew in 2019 (likely to be 4%) against a market that became more competitive (slightly down from 5% in 2018).

It’s looking like more than 8,000 American breweries operated in 2019, a record number for the United States.  At the same time, the competitive market led to more closures and an estimated 300 breweries closed in 2019.

The UK is the second largest export market after Canada and accounts for 16.6% of all global American craft beer exports. Demand for full-flavoured, world-class quality American craft beer remains strong despite the dynamic domestic beer market. American craft brewers are continuing to innovate and adapt to evolving consumer lifestyles, tastes and occasions.

More than 4,700 brewing companies have adopted the Independent Craft Brewer Seal, representing nearly 80% of craft beer brewed in the United States.  Introduced in 2017, the seal identifies truly independent craft brewers from formerly small and independent breweries who have been acquired by global brewing companies.  It’s a simple way to provide clarity.

To promote a more diverse and inclusive craft beer community, the Brewers Association awarded its inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Event Grants to six local and regional events across the U.S. in 2019 that  intentionally promoted and fostered a more diverse and inclusive craft beer community.  A second year of grants will be available in 2020.

American craft beer has driven tremendous job growth and the Brewers Association’s Economic Impact Report shows that craft brewers contributed $79.1 million to the U.S. economy in 2018, a 4% increase on 2017.  Craft brewers were responsible for more than 550,000 full time jobs, an 11% increase on 2017 with 150,000 of those jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs.

So what does 2020 hold – a more competitive marketplace than ever before, an increase in brewery openings (with some closures) and continual ground-breaking innovation from American craft brewers to create new and sought-after beers as well as continuing to perfect classic styles.  And for beer and food lovers, don’t miss our annual event; SAVOR™, An American Craft Beer and Food Experience in Washington, DC, 15th May 2020. Tickets go on sale 19th February 2020.

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