In 2017, the U.S. beer industry shipped (sold) 207.4 million barrels of beer – equivalent to more than 2.9 billion cases of 24-12 ounce servings. In addition, the industry shipped approximately 2 million barrels of cider, equivalent to more than 28.3 million cases.
Source: U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and U.S. Commerce Department, 2018.
In 2017, 83 percent of all beer was domestically produced, and 17 percent was imported from more than 100 different countries around the world.
Source: TTB and U.S. Commerce, 2018
Based on beer shipment data and U.S. Census population statistics, U.S. consumers 21 years and older consumed 26.9 gallons of beer and cider per person during 2017.
Source: NBWA Industry Affairs, 2018
About 239 million people, 73.5 percent of the population, are over the age of 21 and considered legal drinking age. The share of the U.S. population over 21 has increased steadily over the past 10 years. In 2006, the share was 71 percent.
Source: U.S. Census and NBWA Industry Affairs, 2018
The U.S. beer industry sells more than $111.1 billion in beer and malt-based beverages to U.S. consumers each year.
Source: Beer Institute Annual Report, 2016
According to TTB preliminary reports, there were 5,648 reporting brewery facilities/locations in the United States in 2017. This is an increase of about 552 from 2016 reports.
Almost a quarter of these breweries were classified as brewpubs that only brew beer for direct-to-consumer sale on brewery-restaurant premises.
Brewpubs typically brew less than 1,000 barrels (31,000 gallons) of beer per year, though larger chains have emerged around the country.
95 percent of all breweries make fewer than 15,000 barrels (465,000 gallons) per year and account for less than 4 percent of total volume.
The industry structure has changed significantly over the past 30 years. In 1983, there were 49 breweries. At the end of 2016 there were 5,096 reporting brewers, and by the end of CY 2017 the most recent data show there were 8,863 TTB permitted breweries in the United States – an all-time high. Note that not all permitted breweries are open and/or operational. The TTB issued 1,676 new permits in CY 2017 and some states now have more breweries than the enitire country had in 1990. The brewery expansions parallel the business cycle expansion from 2010 to 2017 and the industry stands out in an economy that has been sluggish and subpar relative to past business cycles. New breweries have continued to find growth opportunities in the beer market.
The share of market for the top five brewers and importers has changed significantly over the past five years. Since 2017, more than 9 percent of the market volume has shifted from large brewers and importers to smaller brewers and importers. The continued growth in small, upstart breweries makes the U.S. beer market a dynamic and competitive industry.
|All Other Domestic and Imports||10%||19%|
Source: Beer Marketer’s Insights, 2018
Beer distribution has seen significant changes as well. Over the years, the number of traditional beer distributors has fallen from 4,595 in 1980 to around 3,000 in 2017. However, similar to brewing, the number of new entrants into the alcohol beverage wholesaling sector has increased significantly. According to data from the TTB, there are more than 20,000 licensed alcohol beverage wholesalers.More Details about the number of distributors can be found in the NBWA Membership Directory. Additional details on jobs, wages, taxes and the economic impacts of beer distributors can be found in the NBWA Distributor Economic Impact Report.
A “stock keeping unit” (SKU) is the primary way retailers, distributors and brewers keep track of their inventory while it passes through the supply chain. Tremdous variety in packaging tracked by SKUs in the marketplace also has grown significantly over time. Across the economy, and over time, consumers have changed the when, where and how they shop. In response, new retail stores - from discounters, to big box, to category killers and convenience stores all demand more specialized and specific packaging to fit their customer needs. In 1996, the typical distributor managed 190 unique SKUs in their warehouses. As of 2016, the average statnds at 1,025 SKUs. More detials can be found in the The NBWA Distibutor Prodictivity Report:
Source: NBWA Distributor Productivity Report
According to the Gallup Poll, 36 percent of people do not consume alcohol. Although there have been articles about widespread shifts of legal drinkers from beer to spirits or wine, the annual Gallup survey has shown remarkable stability in consumer preferences over the past decade.
Source: Gallup Poll, 2017