American Craft Beer Exports Continue to Grow in UK and Exceed All-Time Global High with $121 Million
Small and Independent American Brewers Excel at Increasing Demand Abroad
The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent American craft brewers—today reported export data for the American craft beer industry in 2016. Supported by the BA’s Export Development Program (EDP), craft beer export volume increased by 4.4 percent in 2016, now totalling 465,617 barrels and worth $121.4 million.
Growth was seen across the world, most notably in the Asia-Pacific region (not including Japan) which grew 12.9 percent. Japan, alone, increased by an astounding 22.6 percent.
In the UK, American craft beer exports grew by 4.4 percent in volume during 2016. The UK is the second largest export market for American craft beer and accounts for 10.1% of all exports behind Canada with 54.8 percent. Sweden is third with 6.6 percent, followed by Australia with 4.6 percent and China with 3.2 percent of exports.
There are now more small and independent breweries in the States than ever before with the number of operating breweries growing 16 percent in 2016 to reach 5,301 breweries in total. Throughout 2016 there were 826 new openings and only 97 closings. Small and independent craft brewers now represent 12.3 percent by volume of the overall beer industry in the States.
In 2016, craft brewers produced 24.6million barrels and saw a 6 percent volume rise and a 10 percent increase in retail dollar value. Retail dollar value was estimated at $23.5 billion, representing a 21.9 percent market share of the total US beer market.
Bob Pease, president & CEO, Brewers Association, comments: “This year’s export data demonstrates that demand is continuing to strengthen for small and independent craft brewers worldwide. In the UK we are particularly pleased to see robust growth given the pressures arising from Brexit and the emergence of the UK’s own dynamic and growing craft beer culture. U.S. craft beer exports and the UK’s craft beer scene complement each other – both are built on quality, innovation and diversity – and the explosion of interest in craft beer on both sides of the Atlantic is fuelling increased interest in the sector. Greater choice is good for the industry and we believe a rising tide floats all boats. As long as quality is upheld and our trading partners continue to deliver the freshest possible beer in world-class condition every time then U.S. craft beer will continue to thrive.”
The EDP, which generates exposure for American craft beer through trade shows, festivals, seminars, media outreach and competitions, among other activities, was initiated in 2004 with funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Market Access Program (USDA MAP). There are now approximately 100 small and independent brewers exporting their beers from the U.S., by EDP estimates.