America’s Beer Distributors Applaud Continued Double Digit Growth for Craft Beer | NBWA: America's Beer and Beverage Distributors

Media Contact: ERIN DONAR

EDONAR@NBWA.ORG; (703) 229-3702

Press Releases| Mar 23, 2016

Craft Beer Data Show 13 Percent Increase in Production Volume

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) – which represents the interests of America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributors – applauds America’s craft brewers for their continued growth and entrepreneurial spirit, which adds energy and excitement to the American beer industry.

The Brewers Association (BA) released data today showing that craft brewers, as defined by BA, continued to grow in double digits last year as American craft beer production volume increased 13 percent. The data suggests that craft brewers produced more than 24 million barrels of beer in 2015, constituting the 13 percent growth for the segment.

The number of operating breweries in the United States grew 15 percent in 2015, totaling 4,269. Craft beer has seen double digit growth in eight of the past 10 years.

Additional data points include:

  • 98% of U.S. breweries produce less than 60,000 barrels per year
  • 95% of U.S. breweries produce less than 15,000 barrels per year
  • 93% of U.S. breweries produce less than 7,143 barrels per year

(Note: 7,143 barrels is a measurement the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau uses for a paperwork reduction rule for filing federal excise taxes.)

Craft beer continues to provide a significant contribution to the American beer industry,” said NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser. “NBWA is proud of the role that independent beer distributors play to help the craft beer industry thrive. The tremendous growth in craft beer sales underscores the excitement of independent beer distributors in partnering with America’s craft brewers to help them reach a wide network of retailers and increase their value.”

“This success is due in large part to the effectiveness of the independent distribution system that allows access to market for brewers of all sizes and a state-based regulatory system that works to level the playing field between brewers, distributors and retailers,” Purser continued. “Today’s marketplace offers an unparalleled number of styles, varieties and flavors of beer to consumers from coast to coast. American consumers continue to demonstrate that they enjoy this vast variety.”

America’s beer distributors directly employ more than 130,000 people and add $54 billion to the economic output of the U.S.


The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents the interests of America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Beer distributors are committed to ensuring alcohol is provided safely and responsibly to consumers of legal drinking age through the three-tier, state-based system of alcohol regulation and distribution. To learn more about America’s beer distributors, visit For additional updates from NBWA, subscribe to The Daily Brew newsletter, follow @NBWABeer on Twitter, watch NBWA videos on and like the NBWA Facebook page at