Brewers Association

American Craft Beer Continues Global Expansion

US Craft Beer Exports Increase 25% in 2008

Boulder, Colorado • March 16, 2009 – In what is becoming a true success story, American craft beer exports again grew by double digits in 2008. The Brewers Association reports that estimated international sales by independent craft brewers were up 25% by volume and 38% in dollars for 2008.

The Brewers Association recently concluded its annual export survey, which revealed that for the sixth consecutive year (the only years for which data has been collected); US craft beer exports increased substantially with solid growth to all markets. Exports to Canada rose by 78% on the heels of new general listings with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. In Europe (the largest export market for American craft beers), shipments rose 16% by volume with consistent gains in Scandinavia and the UK. In Japan, American craft beer exports grew by 51% while exports elsewhere in Asia grew by 53%, driven largely by gains in China and the Philippines.

The Brewers Association would like to thank all breweries that responded to the survey. The data is compiled and distributed only in aggregate, but the information is critical to the Brewers Association's ongoing efforts to secure support for its export development activities. The Brewers Association's export activities are guided by an industry steering committee chaired by Brett Joyce of Rogue Ales. Reacting to the release of these 2008 statistics, Mr. Joyce stated, "The 25% growth in American craft breweries' exports in 2008 is clear proof that beer drinkers throughout the world are discovering the quality, creativity and diversity of US craft beers. The Export Development Committee is thrilled that US craft beer can be enjoyed on four continents and we look forward to continuing our momentum, growth, and geographic expansion in 2009."

The Brewers Association's Export Development Program began in 2004 with a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program. Since its inception, objectives for the Export Development Program have remained unchanged. These include the following:

  • Educate international trade and media about the quality and diversity of products offered by the US craft beer industry and about the US craft beer culture.
  • Inform member breweries about opportunities for their products in key international target markets.
  • Complement the industry's own efforts to increase international distribution of US craft beer.

To date, the Export Development Program has been able to promote its members' beer in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, China, Japan, the Philippines and Australia.

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Based in Boulder, Colorado, USA, the Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade and education association for small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. Visit the website, www.BrewersAssociation.org, to learn more. The association's activities include events and publishing: World Beer Cup®; Great American Beer Festival℠; Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®; National Homebrewers Conference; National Homebrew Competition; SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience; American Craft Beer Week; Zymurgy magazine; The New Brewer magazine; and books on beer and brewing. The Brewers Association has an additional membership division of 19,000+ homebrewers: American Homebrewers Association.

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