Ska Brewing, U.S. Craft Beer Industry Announce 2009 Sales Numbers
DURANGO, COLO., (Mar. 8, 2010) —The Brewers Association, the trade association that tabulates production statistics for U.S. breweries, today released 2009 data on the U.S. craft brewing industry. In a year when other brewers saw a slowdown in sales, small and independent craft brewers (see definition)1 saw sales dollars increase 10.3 percent and volume increase 7.2 percent2 over 2008, representing a growth of 613,992 barrels equal to roughly 8.5 million cases.
Ska Brewing Company, a fifteen year-old Colorado craft beer brewer, reported a whopping 54 percent increase in dollar sales over the previous year, with volume increasing 46 percent.
Overall, U.S. beer sales were down approximately 5 million barrels (31 gallons per U.S. barrel) in 2009.
Ska President and Co-Founder Dave Thibodeau points to the completion of a new state-of-the-art brewing facility in December of 2008 as an important factor in Ska’s recent growth. “We’ve been really fortunate. Double-digit growth every year since we started allowed us to build the new facility, and that allowed us to keep pace with growing demand last year. Our beers continue to be well-received, and craft beer in general keeps gaining popularity every year. As craft beer geeks, we love to see that. It’s good for the industry, for craft beer fans and for Ska.”
“Beer lovers continue to find great value and enjoyment in fuller flavored craft beers,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “Americans have an increasing appreciation of craft beers, and the growing number of brewers behind them. They’re eager to try the latest seasonal release and to sample a variety of beers from different breweries.”
In 2009, craft brewers represented 4.3 percent of volume and 6.9 percent of retail dollars for the total U.S. beer category. With the total U.S. beer industry representing an estimated retail dollar value of $101 billion, the Brewers Association estimates the actual dollar sales figure from craft brewers in 2009 was $7 billion, up from $6.3 billion in 2008.
The total number of U.S. craft brewers grew from 1,485 to 1,542 in 2009, and they produced 9,115,635 barrels, up from 8,501,713 barrels in 2008. Overall U.S. beer sales fell from approximately 210.4 million barrels to 205.8 million barrels.