Some analysts are predicting that craft beerâ€™s share of the beer market could jump from 5 percent in 2010 to 20 percent by 2020.
CHICAGO â€“ Craft beer continues to grow in popularity, with double-digit growth across the board, the Chicago Tribune reports. Even the big brewers are taking notice, as with the recent transaction of Anheuser-Busch buying Goose Island craft brewery for $38.8 million.
In Chicago, craft beer is just coming into its own, with Half Acre, Two Brothers and Three Floyds struggling to keep up with demand. â€œWe just can’t make enough beer,â€ said Gabriel Magliaro of Half Acre Beer Co. â€œOur goal every week is just to try not to run out of beer.â€
Craft beers started in the 1980s, growing from a mere handful of breweries to more than 1,750 last year. In 2010, craft beer took 5 percent of beer sales nationwide, with some analysts forecasting that it could account for 20 percent by 2020.
â€œCraft beer is kind of a rising tide right now,â€ said Benj Steinman, president of Beer Marketerâ€™s Insights. â€œIt’s really in the sweet spot of where more consumers are going, and that seems to be toward the sort of innovation, flavor and variety that the craft brewers are epitomizing.â€
Last year, craft beers sold close to 10 million barrel, an 11 percent yearly jump. Total U.S. beer sales dropped 1 percent to 203.5 million barrels in 2010, according to the Brewers Association. Most craft beers are sold at a higher price than regular beer, which strengthens revenue for the subcategory.