2021 - Year in Beer

2021 - Year in Beer

In 2021, the sales tide swung back toward breweries, bars, and restaurants, and many craft brewers began to see the path back to their former production volumes, if not new growth.

Despite the pandemic, more than 9,000 breweries operated in the United States in 2021, a 6% increase from 2020. An increased brewery presence positively impacts the community—in 2020, small and independent American craft brewers contributed $62.1 billion to the U.S. economy. The industry also provided more than 400,000 total jobs, with nearly 140,000 jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs, including service staff at brewpubs.

Disruptions are not just happening among craft brewers but also consumers; the American alcohol consumer is increasingly diverse and female, and female drinkers under 25 now outnumber male drinkers under 25. That shift will likely continue and the Brewers Association is working to build resources to help diversify the craft brewing community.

“Coming out of a challenging year, small and independent breweries persevered and found new ways to innovate among a changing environment and evolving consumer preferences and expectations,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “Craft brewers’ ability to take risks, innovate flavors, and build better communities has made the U.S. the craft beer capital of the world, and I can’t wait to see what next year brings for brewers and beer lovers alike.”

Given learnings from 2021, the Brewers Association predicts that in 2022:

Comparable craft production will exceed 2019 levels once again.
On-premise sales will improve, but draught will still not be back to 2019 levels.
At the brewery, sales will hit all-time highs.
Operating brewery numbers will continue to climb, but at a lower rate than in previous years.
Inflation will come to craft: brewing and manufacturing cost increases will lead to a hike in average beer prices over recent years.

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 5,600-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers.

Source, Photo: ©Brewers Association

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