Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Craft Beers Sales Are Booming in Supermarkets

By William Brand
Friday, March 9th, 2007 at 2:50 pm in Uncategorized.

Lots of great news this week about American craft beer and by craft beer, I mean the full-flavored products produced by brewers large and small across the country from tiny breweries like Bison in Berkeley, CA. to giant Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada.

In a sentence: Sales are booming.

Last month the Boulder, CO.-based Brewers Association reported craft beer sales jumped 11 percent in 2006, while the rest of the American beer world languished, with either falling or flat sales.

On Wednesday (March 7) Dan Wandel, of Information Resources Inc., a Chicago company that surveys sales at supermarkets, drugstores, liquor stores and other outlets where beer is sold at retail, told Brewers Association members in a conference call that we can truly call 2006 as “The Year of Craft Beer.”

“A year ago, we did a presentation showing sales growing and I called it `the march of the micros.’ Today, that march is more like a sprint,” Wandel said.

The IRI survey, which does not include sales in taverns, bars and restaurants, showed total beer sales were down about three-tenths of one percent, but in dollars, beer sales rose 2.5 percent, while wine sales were up 9.8 percent, mostly in higher priced wines, and spirits (hard liquor) sales rose 6.5 percent, with big seller being vodka – sales up 7 percent.

However, craft beer had a field day. Wandel said the IRI survey
showed that

Some statistics: Top craft beer brands:

–1:Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, up 6.9 percent to $52.8 million.
–2:Sam Adams Boston Lager, up 8.9% to $47.7 M
–3: Sam Adams Seasonals, up 38.2% to $28.5 M
–4: New Belgium Fat Tire, up 22.5% to $22.2 M
–5: Sam Adams Light, up 19.2% to $19.8 M
–6: Widmer Hefeweizen, up 16.3% to $18 M
–7: Shiner Bock, up 15.7% to $17.6 M
–8: Redhook ESB, down 1.1.% to $11.9 M
–9: Pyramid Hefeweizen, up 20.6% to $8.9 M
–10: Deschutes Mirror Pond IPA, up 16.8% to $8.4 M
–11: Alaskan Amber, up 11.6% to $7.,4 M
–12: Sam Adams Brewmaster Collection, up 77.7% to $9.1 M
–13: Redhook Bitter IPA, 19.4% to $6.6 M
–14: Deschutes Black Butte Porter, up 9% to $5.3 M
–15: Anchor Steam, 7.2% to $4.5 M

The report had a lot more info, which I’ll post later. One factoid: Top-selling import in U.S. supermarkets: Newcastle Brown Ale (Scottish & Newcastle, England). Also, six craft beers made the Top 30 list in sales:

Number 3: Sam Adams Seasonals; 17. New Belgium Fat Tire, 20: Sam Adams Boston Lager, 22. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, just behind Heineken. 23. Shiner Bock, 24: Widmer Hefeweizen.Craft Styles 06

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