The Brewers Association released the 2014 Year in Review report yesterday and the craft beer numbers are quite impressive. Before I share some of the numbers released, I want to mention that the Brewers Association is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers.

The following are some of the numbers taken directly from the report that caught my eye:

• In November, the United States passed the mark of 3,200 breweries and the number of brewery licenses reached the highest ever, topping 4,500 in the first six months of the year.
• California is one of thirteen states with more than 100 breweries in it.
• Breweries are opening at a rate of 1.5 per day.
• Through June of 2014, craft brewers enjoyed 18 percent growth by volume.
• According to retail scan data, IPA is up 47 percent by volume and 49 percent by dollar sales, accounting for 21 percent volume share of craft and 23 percent dollar share of off-premise beer sales. Additionally, the style was the number one entered category at the Great American Beer Festival.
• Retail data also indicates that variety packs are up 21 percent by volume and 24 percent by dollar sales, equating to nine percent volume share of craft and seven percent dollar share.
• Data collected by the Brewers Association indicates that 38 percent of households bought a craft beer in the last year versus 29 percent in 2010. Additionally, women consume almost 32 percent of craft beer volume, almost half of which comes from women ages 21-34. Hispanic populations are demonstrating increased craft engagement as well.

These are exciting times for craft beer enthusiasts locally and nationally. With interest from the consumer at an all-time high, many brewers have taken on the ‘if you build it they will come’ mentality. Interest will bring the consumer in the first time. It’s up to each individual brewery to make a good beer and insure that the consumer will come back for more.

-Peter Lopez Jr.