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US craft beer industry led by New Belgium Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing & Boston Beer

Mike King

The US craft beer market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.46% through 2016, driven by the changing consumer taste and preference for craft beer, and the changing consumer taste and preference for craft beer.

Despite an often limited distribution reach and high price points, craft beer has increased in popularity among US beer drinkers.

A consumer shift to drinking at home during the recession, as opposed to on premises, benefited companies in the industry because it is easier to place products on retailer shelves than in restaurants or bars that offer a limited selection of alcoholic beverages.

Attracted by the growing craft beer market and with other beer markets experiencing a downfall in the US, many large beer companies are entering the craft beer sector in the US. Many large companies are building or buying craft beer labels in the market to gain share of the marketing and distribution networks of small brewers.

For instance, MillerCoors LLC has its own craft beer division, which is run under the name Tenth and Black with brands such as Crispin, Batch 19, and Bluemoon.

This company is also planning to expand its business by making its local craft beer brands such as Henry Weinhard and Leinenkugel available across the country, thereby enhancing its visibility among consumers and assuring quality.

Craft brewers currently provide an estimated 108,440 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs.

2,347 craft breweries operated for some or all of 2012, comprised of 1,132 brewpubs, 1,118 microbreweries and 97 regional craft breweries. Craft brewers sold an estimated 13,235,917 barrels of beer in 2012, up from 11,467,337 in 2011.

Key players currently dominating the US craft beer market include New Belgium Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., The Boston Beer Co. Inc., and The Gambrinus Co.

For more information on the US craft beer market, see the latest research: US Craft Beer Market

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