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Craft Beer - US - June 2014

“The leading purchase driver among craft beer drinkers is style, pointing to a more discerning consumer base. This focus on style and flavor is a major element that differentiates a craft beer drinker from the rest, and points to the future of beer in the US. Whereas consumers used to have to turn to imports for flavor variety, the expansion of craft breweries with interesting flavor offerings has opened the domestic market to experimentation. This presents vast opportunity for product trial, which will keep the market interesting in the near future.”
– Beth Bloom, Food and Drink Analyst

This report answers the following questions:

  • How does a craft beer drinker differ from a mainstream beer drinker?
  • How can craft brands gain on large manufacturers?
  • Can the craft beer market continue to grow?
Craft beer refers to artisan-style beers, typically associated with small, independent local or regional brewers.
 
The styles and positioning characterized by craft beer also have been acquired and/or adopted by larger brewing corporations including Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, which Mintel has included in the overall market size, and segmented out as “craft-style” beer.
 
While both craft and craft-style brands comprise the overall market size of the report, Mintel has segmented this market into craft and craft-style beers based on the following definition developed by the Brewers Association. In order for a brand to be considered craft it must meet each of the following: Annual production of six million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3% of US annual sales at time of publishing).
 
Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
 
A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                • Executive Summary

                    • The market
                      • Craft beer sales are estimated to reach $20 billion in 2014
                        • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast of craft beer (on- and off-premise), at current prices, 2009-19
                      • Leading companies
                        • Boston Beer made up 16% of craft beer sales in 2012
                          • Figure 2: Leading craft beer companies, by volume, 2010 and 2012*
                        • The consumer
                          • Nearly one quarter of consumers age 22+ drink craft beer
                            • Figure 3: Type of beer consumed, by age, March 2014
                          • Style drives craft purchase
                            • Figure 4: Purchase decision (top five factors overall), by type of beer consumed, March 2014
                          • Craft drinkers drawn to clear flavor descriptions
                            • Figure 5: Purchase influencers, by type of beer consumed, March 2014
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                              • How does a craft beer drinker differ from a mainstream beer drinker?
                                • Issue
                                  • Insight: Category should capitalize on its engaged consumer base
                                    • How can craft brands gain on large manufacturers?
                                      • Issue
                                        • Insight: Emphasize style, taste, and personal experience
                                          • Can the craft beer market continue to grow?
                                            • Issue
                                              • Insight: A blurring of lines will benefit the industry and the consumer
                                              • Trend Applications

                                                  • Trend: Slow It All Down
                                                    • Trend: Objectify
                                                      • Trend: Let’s Make A Deal
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Craft beer sales are estimated to reach $20 billion in 2014
                                                            • Sales and forecast of craft beer
                                                              • Figure 6: Total US sales and forecast of craft and craft-style beer (on- and off-premise), at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of craft and craft-style beer (on- and off-premise), at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                            • True craft leads craft sales and growth
                                                              • Figure 8: Total US retail sales of craft beer, by segment, at current prices, 2012 and 2014 (est.)
                                                            • Craft sales grow 110% from 2009-14
                                                              • US retail sales of craft beer
                                                                • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of craft beer, by segment, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                              • Craft-style sales grow 62% from 2009-14
                                                                • US retail sales of craft-style beer
                                                                  • Figure 10: Total US sales and forecast of craft beer, by segment, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                    • Figure 11: Total US retail sales and forecast of craft beer, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Economic benefit driving helpful legislation
                                                                      • Local players look to new markets for growth
                                                                      • Competitive Context

                                                                        • Lines blurring between craft and non-craft
                                                                          • Figure 12: Attitudes toward beer (brand), by any agree, by age, March 2014
                                                                          • Figure 13: Attitudes toward beer (brand), by any agree, by type of beer consumed, March 2014
                                                                      • Leading Companies and Brand Analysis

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Craft leaders all see strong growth from 2010-12
                                                                            • Figure 14: Samuel Adams, “Over 60 Beers,” TV Ad, 2014
                                                                            • Figure 15: Samuel Adams, “Best Day Ever,” TV Ad, 2013
                                                                          • As the category moves mainstream, leaders look for other ways to differentiate
                                                                            • Figure 16: New Belgium Brewing, “Want a Beer?,” TV Ad, 2013
                                                                          • Leading company sales of craft beer
                                                                            • Figure 17: Leading craft beer companies, by volume, 2010 and 2012*
                                                                          • Leading brand sales of craft beer
                                                                            • Figure 18: Leading craft beer brands, by volume, 2010 and 2012*
                                                                        • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                          • Food pairings invite consumers to savor the flavors
                                                                            • Craft beer makers are sweet on sour
                                                                              • Brewery tours and taproom invitations add to the experience
                                                                                • Cans offer convenience, sustainability, and style
                                                                                  • Hops are hip
                                                                                  • Social Media

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Market overview
                                                                                        • Key social media metrics
                                                                                          • Figure 19: Key social media metrics, May 2014
                                                                                        • Usage and awareness
                                                                                          • Figure 20: Usage and awareness for selected craft beer varieties,
                                                                                        • Interactions with craft beer varieties
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Interactions with selected craft beer varieties,
                                                                                        • Leading online campaigns
                                                                                          • Mobile apps
                                                                                            • Going local
                                                                                              • Paying homage to flavors and beer varieties
                                                                                                • What we think
                                                                                                  • Online conversations
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Online conversations around selected craft beer varieties, by month, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                  • Where are people talking about craft beer varieties?
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Online conversations around selected craft beer varieties, by page type, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                    • What are people talking about?
                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Topics of conversations around selected craft beer varieties, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                  • Beer Consumption

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • A quarter of Americans aged 22+ drink craft beer
                                                                                                        • Men more engaged than women
                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Type of beer consumed, by gender, March 2014
                                                                                                        • Craft may be an acquired taste
                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Type of beer consumed, by age, March 2014
                                                                                                        • HH income has strong impact on craft beer consumption
                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Type of beer consumed, by household income, March 2014
                                                                                                        • Craft struggles in the South
                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Type of beer consumed, by region, March 2014
                                                                                                        • Craft beer drinkers don’t appear to be exclusive
                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Type of beer consumed, by type of beer consumed, March 2014
                                                                                                      • Consumption Occasion

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Craft beer drinking is a social affair
                                                                                                            • Men more likely than women to drink beer solo
                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Craft beer consumption occasion, by gender, March 2014
                                                                                                            • Younger consumers more likely to drink alone
                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Craft beer consumption occasion, by age, March 2014
                                                                                                            • Drinking alone doesn’t mean living alone
                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Craft beer consumption occasion, by household size, March 2014
                                                                                                            • Craft drinkers care about food
                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Microwbrewed beer, by food lifestyle segmentation, November 2012-December 2013
                                                                                                          • Reasons for Drinking Craft Beer

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Relaxation and reward lead reason for drinking
                                                                                                                • Young consumers drink to relax, enhance mood
                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Reasons for drinking craft beer, by age, March 2014
                                                                                                                • Craft beer serves as an outlet for parents
                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Reasons for drinking craft beer, by presence of children in household, March 2014
                                                                                                                • Midwesterners encouraged by community support
                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Reasons for drinking craft beer, by region, March 2014
                                                                                                                • Craft beer drinkers less likely than average to do so to get drunk
                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Attitudes toward alcohol, November 2012-December 2013
                                                                                                              • Purchase Decision

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • More than half of beer drinkers prioritize brand
                                                                                                                    • Older consumers more likely to be driven by brand, flavor
                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Purchase decision, by age, March 2014
                                                                                                                    • Craft drinkers drawn to full-bodied flavor, style
                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Purchase decision, by type of beer consumed, March 2014
                                                                                                                    • Light flavor varieties may grow participation among women
                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Purchase decision, by gender and age, March 2014
                                                                                                                    • Low income earners driven by brand, high earners interested in style
                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Purchase decision, by household income, March 2014
                                                                                                                    • Southerners prioritize brand over style
                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Purchase decision, by region, March 2014
                                                                                                                  • Consumption Location

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Craft beer drinkers fairly split between on-/off-premise consumption
                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Quantity of beer consumed, March 2014
                                                                                                                      • Shifting the emphasis from selling to sharing is important in craft
                                                                                                                        • Tap takeovers allow for exposure, trial
                                                                                                                          • Expanding availability, connecting with community key to growth
                                                                                                                          • Purchase Influencers

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Flavor familiarity and influence of friends impact product choice
                                                                                                                                • Flavor familiarity and influence of friends impact product choice
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Purchase influencers, by age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                • Craft drinkers drawn to clear flavor descriptions
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Purchase influencers, by type of beer consumed, March 2014
                                                                                                                              • Choosing an Alternate Product

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Craft drinkers interested in style, willing to try new products
                                                                                                                                    • Collaborations boost interest in the category
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Choosing an alternate product, by type of beer consumed, March 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Younger beer drinkers try new things
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Choosing an alternate product, by age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes Toward Beer

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Knowledge
                                                                                                                                        • Enhanced education may grow participation among women, others
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Attitudes toward beer (knowledge), by any agree, by gender, March 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Young consumers like to share beer knowledge
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Attitudes toward beer (knowledge), by any agree, by age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Urbanites like to share their beer knowledge with others
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Attitudes toward beer (knowledge), by any agree, by area, March 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Craft drinkers more knowledgeable, eager to share than non-craft
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Attitudes toward beer (knowledge), by any agree, by type of beer consumed, March 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Perception
                                                                                                                                          • Gift/premium beer market may appeal to key user group
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Attitudes toward beer (perception), by any agree, by age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Low earners not willing to spend more on craft, high earners don’t think suitable for gifting
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Attitudes toward beer (perception), by any agree, by household income, March 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Image
                                                                                                                                            • Image important to young beer drinkers
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Attitudes toward beer (image), by any agree, by age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                            • …especially those with money to spend
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Attitudes toward beer (image), by any agree, by age and household income, March 2014
                                                                                                                                            • The West is more image-conscious than the Midwest
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Attitudes toward beer (image), by any agree, by region, March 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Craft would benefit from growing favor among Hispanics
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Type of beer consumed, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Hispanics not interested in beer style
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Purchase decision, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Friends play an important role in Hispanic purchase decision
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Choosing an alternate product, by Hispanic origin, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Attitudes toward beer (knowledge), by any agree, by Hispanic origin, March 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Majority of Hispanics believe brands represent the drinker
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Attitudes toward beer (image), by any agree, by Hispanic origin, March 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Emphasize affordable sophistication
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Attitudes toward beer (perception), by any agree, by Hispanic origin, March 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                              • Type of beer consumed
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Type of beer consumed, by gender and age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Beer consumption (average), by type of beer consumed, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Beer consumption** – Craft, by age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Quantity of beer consumed
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Beer consumption – Craft**, by household income, March 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Purchase decision
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Purchase decision, by any craft consumed in the past week*, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Purchase decision, by awareness of these craft beer styles, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 69: Purchase decision, by craft beer consumption occasion, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 70: Purchase decision, by reasons for drinking craft beer, March 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Consumption occasion
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 71: Craft beer consumption occasion, by gender and age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Craft beer consumption occasion, by any craft consumption in the past week*, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Craft beer consumption occasion, by awareness of these craft beer styles, March 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Reasons for drinking craft beer
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Reasons for drinking craft beer, by gender and age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Reasons for drinking craft beer, by household income, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: Reasons for drinking craft beer, by type of beer consumed, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Reasons for drinking craft beer, by awareness of these craft beer styles, March 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Choosing an alternate product
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Choosing an alternate product, by awareness of these craft beer styles, March 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes toward beer
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Attitudes toward beer, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Attitudes toward beer (knowledge), by any agree, by gender and age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Attitudes toward beer (perception), by any agree, by gender and age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Attitudes toward beer (brand), by any agree, by gender and age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Attitudes toward beer (image), by any agree, by gender and age, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Attitudes toward beer (image), by any agree, by type of beer consumed, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: Attitudes toward beer (image), by any agree, by awareness of these craft beer styles, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: Attitudes toward beer (knowledge), by any agree, by awareness of these craft beer styles, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Attitudes toward beer (brand), by any agree, by awareness of these craft beer styles, March 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Attitudes toward beer (perception), by any agree, by awareness of these craft beer styles, March 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Social Media

                                                                                                                                              • Usage or awareness
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Usage or awareness, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Seasonal usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 91: India pale ale usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 92: Lager usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 93: Stout usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 94: Wheat usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 95: Fruit beers usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Activities done
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 96: Activities done, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 97: Seasonal – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 98: Seasonal – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 99: Seasonal – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 100: Seasonal – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 101: India pale ale – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 102: India pale ale – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 103: India pale ale – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 104: Lager – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 105: Lager – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 106: Lager – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 107: Stout – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 108: Stout – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 109: Wheat – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 110: Wheat – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 111: Fruit beers – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 112: Fruit beers – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Online conversations
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 113: Online conversations around selected craft beer varieties, by month, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 114: Online conversations around selected craft beer varieties, by page type, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 115: Topics of conversations around selected craft beer varieties, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                              • Anchor Brewing Company
                                                                                                                                              • Deschutes Brewery Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • Harpoon Brewery (The)
                                                                                                                                              • InBev USA
                                                                                                                                              • Matt Brewing Company
                                                                                                                                              • New Belgium Brewing Company Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • Redhook Ale Brewery Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
                                                                                                                                              • Spoetzl Brewery
                                                                                                                                              • The Boston Beer Company Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                                              • Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
                                                                                                                                              • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                              Craft Beer - US - June 2014

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