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Crowding the bar.
ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

Craft brewers gulped a record share of the US beer market in 2014

By Svati Kirsten Narula

Small beer labels had a big year in 2014. Craft brews accounted for 11% of all US beer sales by volume last year, marking the first time that small, independent beer makers accounted for a double-digit share of overall volume.

The numbers, from the Colorado-based Brewers Association trade group, dovetail with other signs that craft beer, fashionably canned or otherwise, is enjoying a renaissance in the US. The number of American craft brewers grew by 19% in 2014, according to the trade group that represents them.

Craft brewers are an even bigger part of there market when measured in dollars rather than volume. Their $19.6 billion in sales last year amounted to 19.3% of the beer industry’s total $101.5 billion retail value in the US in 2014. Craft brews typically are more expensive than macro ones for obvious reasons of scale, but prices may have been even higher in 2014, reflecting the cost of a hops shortage caused by an explosion in demand.