The Brewers Association announced last week that growth for small and independent craft brewers has remained stable for the first half of 2018, while production volume increased five percent during the same time period.
As of the end of June, there are currently 6,655 active breweries, up from just 5,562 active breweries during the same time period last year. And that number is expected to grow. The organization says that there are between 2,500 and 3,000 breweries currently in the planning stage, based on active Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) licenses.
“While more mature, the market continues to show demand for small and independent craft brewers,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “There are certainly industry headwinds, but this stabilized growth rate is reflective of the market realities that exist for brewers today.”
All that is setting the brewing industry up to have a record year.
“The data demonstrate that 2018 is on pace to have the highest number of brewery openings and closings to date. However, even as breweries close, openings continue to far outpace the number that shutter,” added Watson. “New players looking to enter the space should be aware of the constructs of the current landscape, work to differentiate themselves and will need to make quality beer to succeed.”