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BOULDER, Colo. -- For the first time ever craft beer has exceeded more than a 5 percent dollar share of total beer sales, according to craft brewers trade group The Brewers Association, which tabulates industry data.
Sales volume of craft for the first half of 2007 rose 11 percent compared to last year, and dollar growth increased 14 percent.
"The 1,400 small, independent and traditional craft brewers in the U.S. have hit their stride," said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. "United States craft brewers are making many of the world's best beers, and the marketplace is responding."
Overall, the U.S. beer industry sold one million more barrels in the first half of 2007 compared to 2006, with 400,000 of these new barrels produced by craft breweries, according to the association. This equates to 3.768 million barrels of craft beer sold in the first two quarters of 2007 compared to 3.368 million barrels sold in the first half of 2006.
Scan data from Information Resources, Inc. provide additional data points that confirm strength for the segment.
In the supermarket channel, craft beer sales through July 15th, 2007 showed a 17.4 percent increase in dollar sales over last year -- higher than any other alcohol beverage category -- according to figures from market information firm Information Resources, Inc.
"Craft beer market share is steadily and consistently growing,” said Julia Herz, director of craft beer marketing for the Brewers Association. “A grassroots movement is responsible for this success as appreciators continue to trade up."