Craft Beverage Industry Growth Revealed by Big Data

Big Data has done a lot for numerous industries in terms of providing deeper insights about buying trends, demographics, and sales figures. The same can be said for the craft beverage industry that now has numerous analytics to report across all segments, including beer, spirits, wine, cider and mead. Recently, I had the opportunity to collect research and share it in an article for Artisan Spirits Magazine, which will be released in the near future. Here are some of the highlights:



  • found that growth by volume increased 18% and 22% by dollar shares in 2014. The retail value associated with this volume of craft beer sold also rose, from $14.3 billion in 2013 to $19.6 billion in 2014. [1]
  • Nielsen found that while the entire beer category grew just 0.6% in a year that ended June 20, 2015, craft beer volume grew 10.2%.
  • Harris Poll found that 35% of adults, 21 and older, said they’re more interested in trying an adult beverage labeled craft. [2]



  • There are now 8,287 wineries in American, which is a 6.8%, according to Wine Vines Analytics.
  • More wine is also being consumed with a 5.6% over the previous year.
  • Jon Bonné, author of The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste, has noted a generational shift, from a model of big wine, flavor, and alcohol to more restrained styles.


Cider and Mead

  • The popularity of cider and mead in just the last year to two years has grown significantly along with the introduction of many new products in this craft beverage market segment.
  • The United States Association of Cider Makers reported that cases have gone from just over four million cases in 2010 to approximately 26 million cases in 2014.
  • The American Mead Makers Association saw a sales increase in 2014 alone of 42% while sales over the period from 2012 to 2014 jumped 84%.


Craft Spirits

  • The National Restaurant Association (NRA) placed micro-distilled/artisan spirits as the top trend of 2015.
  • According to the American Distilling Institute(ADI), in 2005 there were only 50 craft distillers compared to the over 600 in 2013.[3]


What the Numbers Mean

The Big Data reports here show exciting growth opportunities for all of us in the craft beverage industry. These positive signs should shape our strategies and propel us forward and toward greater collaboration on industry standards, policy, and issues that impact everyone. It’s an exciting time to be part of our industry, and I look forward to seeing how these numbers continue to increase.