Brewers Association: Notes from State of the Craft Beer Industry Tele-press Conference

Brewers AssociationThe Brewers Association held a Tele-press conference highlighting the current state of the craft beer industry. Below are some highlights from the live call. We will be back later today with highlights from the CBC Keynote presentation this morning. Cheers!

Craft Overview 2012

– 13.2 Million Barrels

– Dollar sales grew 17%

– Craft is now at 12% market share

– Growth hitting all sized breweries in the craft sector.

– Bad 2012 start for big brewers.

– Brewers are looking to build a second brewery rather than shipping cross country. Anticipate folks the size of Green Flash to follow. initiative launched to combat nearly 50M in losses.

– American Craft Beer Week – Big event for retailers, 8th year. New thing will be simultaneous toast May 16th 5 PDT.

Government Affairs

– Planned CBC 2013 3 years ago for DC in order to position themselves to raise issues in the Capital. Using BA and BA members would show a strong presence.

– We’re aware congress was in recess, and thought this would be an easier way to approach.

– Brewers Association invited all brewers, with a turnout of 233 brewers for a ‘Hill climb’, in order to have brewers speak with their local representatives.  BA gave everyone talking points to consider. Develop relationships, tell the story of American Craft Beer, and to educate on the challenges of a small brewery. They also made a push for politicians to come visit the breweries.

Export Development Program

– Developing a quality control brochure, to be released later this year.

– Use funding to enter US beers in International competitions. The thought is to prove that we make the best beer in the world.

– Even brewers not exporting can be in the program to promote this cause.

– Top markets for US Craft Canada, Sweden,<conference bridge cut out>

Questions from various members of the press

Where might we be in 10 years and is there a breaking point on the price of a six pack? Brewers Association would not touch that question.

What can BA do to help and maintain the growth?  Educational programs, whole salers conferences, and seminars.

What are brewers doing to combat retailer challenges?  Brewers are getting more in tune with the market. Also, reinforce what the beer drinkers are saying. BA will not speculate on Macros taking up shelf space for the sake of it.

Market saturation concerns?  BA is not concerned, as the brewers have been able to connect with their customers in a way a large company could not. Local and community are parts of this success.

Does the BA have any numbers related to packaged stores or beer bars explicitly aimed at craft beer? No.

BA stance on private equity money in craft beer? It can be positive or negative. If a PE firm wants to repair and flip, its bad. If they are in it for the long haul, that’s great.

Is there a certain area the BA has targeted for growth, an area that’s lacking? A study shows the South East would be well served with more breweries. The country is catching up with the Pacific North West and California.

Are craft breweries having trouble getting funding for projects? Things have losened up for craft brewers since the economic down turn in 2009.

What can you say about the differences premises and off-premise beer sales? It’s been widening. Craft in the on premise is on the rise. No numbers for on-premise sales. About 35 of the share of the market. In bottle, craft has gone from 16 share to 24 share in 2012. In terms of draft, craft went from 33 share to a 69 share on- premise.

Is contract brewing being sustainable? It’s been on a several year decline. 220 bbls in 2012 contract brewing. It’s a direct response to folks getting into their own facilities.  Not so sure what it means that companies are opening up contract facilities.




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