Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Craft beer sales soared again in 2007

By William Brand
Thursday, February 21st, 2008 at 7:19 pm in Uncategorized.

For those of you who care about the business of beer – and that definitely includes me – according to Stan Hieronymus, a beer author and craft beer insider, who writes the Appellationbeer blog, a marketing expert who follows craft beer sales for the Brewers Association told brewers in a closed-circuit teleconference today that sales of craft beer in 2007 boomed.

According to Stan, Dan Wadell of Information Resource Inc., “Craft” beer dollar sales were up 16.7% in 2007, following a 17.9% increase in 2006.

In the last two weeks of 2007 (Christmas/New Year’s holiday sales) “craft” sales were up 15.8%, versus just a 3.1% increase for imports.”

Of course, we know that. We see the long lines of craft beers on supermarket shelves and the shrinking BudMillerCoors et al section. I read the blog late and didn’t think it was a big enough deal to call Julia Herz, the association’s ace media person at home. The association will have official volume sales figures, based on reports from brewers, shortly, But great news, nevertheless.

Let’s see, what does this do? Move the craft beer segment of the total American beer market up to somewhere around 4 percent. Viewed from that perspective, we’re still a drop in the bucket, but a mighty drop are we.

Of course, if one adds beers like Coors Blue Moon to the number, the prcentage grows a bit. According to Stan, Wadell said Blue Moon sales climbed 55 percent in 2007. That would put Blue Moon somewhere close to a million barrels, which would put it right behind number one craft beer, Sam Adams and number two Sierra Nevada. Food for thought.

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