Beer, Wine & Spirits

Craft beer growth posts solid numbers ... again

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The taps continue to flow for the craft beer industry.

American craft beer production volume rose 16 percent from January through the end of June 2015 as compared to the same time last year, according to mid-year data released Monday by the Brewers Association.

"Industry growth is occurring in all regions and stemming from a mix of sources including various retail settings and a variety of unique brewery business models," said Bart Watson, chief economist of the Brewers Association, in a statement.

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In terms of barrels, about 12.2 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014.

The latest numbers continue a yearslong uptick for the craft beer segment, which grabbed a double-digit share of the market for the first time last year.

Brewery worker examining beer in beaker. Craft breweries continue to grow.
Hero Images | Getty Images

The Brewers Association reports that 3,739 breweries were operating in the U.S. as of June 30, 2015, an increase of 699 breweries over the same time period a year ago. The Brewers Association said another 1,755 breweries are planned.

But as the numbers of brewers continues to swell and more craft beer brands hit the marketplace, there is a growing concern among some in the craft industry about making sure the overall quality of craft beer doesn't suffer.

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"The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent, although competition in the sector is certainly growing and the need for brewers to differentiate and produce world-class, high-quality beer is more important than ever," Watson said.