While US craft beer production decreased 9% in 2020, the pandemic’s impact on the sector was not as drastic as many had feared.
2021 proved to be a similar story, with the Brewers Association championing the agility of craft brewers in adapting to changing markets.
“Despite disruptions like weather, labor shortages, manufacturing delays, and more, craft brewers overcame obstacles and proved resilient,” notes the association as it reviews the past year.
“Many breweries were nimble and pivoted to packaging their product to bring in much-needed income when their primary sales channels—tasting rooms, brewpubs, bars, and restaurants—disappeared during the pandemic. In addition, breweries showed innovation across styles and flavor, and craft as a category continued to fill the innovation pipeline with new beers to return to pre-pandemic growth levels.”
Despite the impact of the pandemic, more than 9,000 breweries operated in the US in 2021: representing a 6% increase on 2020.
A total of 710 breweries opened during the year, against 176 closures.
Another key finding from the association is that the average American alcohol drinker has changed: for example, female drinkers under 25 now outnumber male drinkers under 25.