From this release by the Brewers Association yesterday:
Craft brewers saw volume2 rise 13 percent, with a 15 percent increase in retail sales from 2010 to 2011, representing a total barrel increase of 1.3 million.
In 2011, craft brewers represented 5.68 percent of volume of the U.S. beer market, up from 4.97 in 2010, with production reaching 11,468,152 barrels. Additionally, the BA estimates the actual dollar sales figure from craft brewers in 2011 was $8.7 billion, up from $7.6 billion in 2010.
This trend of small batch independent brewers taking market share has continued for a number of years. Consider that this is happening while the overall U.S. beer market actually saw a volumes decrease 1.32 percent in 2011.
One thing I noted in this previous post is how the beer brewing industry has evolved since prohibition:
The Beer Industries Bright Spot
Before prohibition the U.S. had 1,751 breweries.
By 1980 that number had fallen to less than 100 breweries.
Where's it at now?
It is now up to 1,989 according to this latest release by the Brewers Association.
Note: The numbers from the Brewers Association are preliminary. The Association will publish its full 2011 industry analysis in the May/June 2012 issue of The New Brewer.