2008 Overall Craft Beer Growth

March 16th, 2009

Yakima Craft Brewing Co. Announces 2008 Overall Craft Beer Growth

Today’s Beer and Wine Drinkers Moving to Full Flavor Craft Beer and Buying Closer to Home While Small Brewers Continue to Gain Alcohol Market Share

Yakima, Washington - March, 2009 - The Brewers Association, that tabulates industry growth data for U.S. breweries, announced that today’s small independent craft brewers are gaining alcohol market share due to a shift toward full flavor beer and increased support for local breweries. From 2007 to 2008, estimated sales by craft brewers were up 5.8 percent by volume and 10.5 percent in dollars1. Overall share of the beer category from craft brewers was 4.0 percent of production and 6.3 percent of retail sales. More than 1 million new barrels of beer were sold in 2008, and close to half of those barrels were beer from craft brewers.

Locally, this trend was reflected in the results of Yakima Craft Brewing Co., which continued to grow local and regional sales through their first year, on pace to reach maximum producing in 2009.

“We’re proud of our performance in our first year, and look forward to a stellar 2009″, said Jeff Winn, President and Brewmaster of Yakima Craft Brewing Co., “We’ve made some great relationships with local retailers and established a solid reputation with local customers.  With the announcement recently of an A+ rating for our IPA from BeerAdvocate, we’re gearing up for a busy year ahead.”

With total U.S. beer being more than a $100 billion industry, the Brewers Association estimates the actual dollar sales figures from craft brewers in 2008 were $6.34 billion, up from $5.74 billion in 2007. Taxable barrels of the total beer category was 1,210,018 more in 2008 with craft brewers producing 473,364 of those barrels. Total craft brewer barrels for 2008 was 8,596,971, up from 8,123,607 barrels in 2007.

“2008 was a historic year for beer with the large brewers consolidating and imports losing share, while the top ten selling beer brands dropped in sales. At the same time, small independent craft brewers continued to gain share and attention,” said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association.

Beer’s popularity as America’s favorite fermented beverage continued in 2008 with Gallup stating “beer is back to a double-digit lead over wine.” Taking into account the challenges in today’s economy, BevincoNielsen released a survey showing beer was faring better than spirits, with wine lagging. The Brewers Association emphasized trading across from wine and spirits to beer continues, with some of today’s wine drinkers discovering the affordable enjoyment and rewards of craft beer.

These increases in share and barrels for craft brewers come at a time when, according to the Brewers Association, the cost of operating a small brewery increased over 39 percent in the period of November 2007 to November 2008. The Brewers Association states that today’s craft brewers face many challenges including:

  • Access to ingredients and raw materials
  • Increased pricing for materials and supplies
  • Access to market (competition for shelf space at the retail level)

For more statistics visit the updated 2008 Craft Beer Industry Statistics Web page. A more extensive analysis will be released April 22 during the Craft Brewers Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. The Association’s full 2008 industry analysis, which shows regional trends and sales by individual brewery, will be published in the May/June issue of The New Brewer.

For more information on Yakima Craft Brewing Co. visit: yakimacraftbrewing.com

1The definition of a craft brewer as stated by the Brewers Association: An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Small: Annual production of beer less than 2 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.

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Yakima Craft Brewing Co.

2920 River Road (#6), Yakima, Washington  98902 U.S.A.

(509) 654-7357  |  (509) 654-7358 FAX


Thanks, BeerAdvocate!

March 4th, 2009

If you have your newest issue of the beer-fan mag BeerAdvocate (only the finest and most revered beer publication in this great nation), known as Volume III Issue II, then you may already have seen that we’ve had two of our brews reviewed and rated there.

Our Twin Stag Scottish Ale received a B (”good”), and our IPA received the highest rating possible, A+ (”world-class”)!  Beyond that, at this time our Amber Ale rates a B+ (”very good”) from the web site (www.beeradvocate.com).

Our thanks to the Bros for spreading the word of “Just good beer” far and wide.  To all our fans (old and new) out there looking to get hands on our stuff, know that we are a small, local brewery in just our eighth month of operation, but we will be looking to get some of our beer out of beloved Yakima for more fans to enjoy.

Thanks to everyone who attended the 100 Years of Motorcycles Rally Spring Opener!

February 23rd, 2009

We were there Friday and Sunday for an exciting event, and enjoyed talking with the beer fans we met.  Chris had his eye on a few items, and who knows where that will lead…

See you down the road!

Crab Feed at the Woodshed

February 1st, 2009

At the Woodshed, Jan. 31st, 2009

Chris and I had a great time at the Woodshed on Saturday.  I was personally responsible for much crab consumption (along with some IPA and Twin Stag), and Chris chowed down on the prime rib.  There were a ton of people there, and everyone pretty much knew everyone else- one of the best parts of living around here.

Thanks to Val and Mark, and thanks to everyone at the Woodshed who welcomed us in. As is always the case, we enjoyed meeting new people and introducing our beer to those who maybe haven’t had the opportunity.

WinterHop Brewfest 2009

January 18th, 2009

Thanks to everyone attending the sold out WinterHop Brewfest 2009.  We were set up in Lilly’s Cantina (thanks, Tony!) and poured beer (along with much volunteer help) aside Whitstran Brewing.  We had a great time meeting and talking with everyone, and enjoying other Washington beer.

Special thanks to the Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce and to Leslie- this show was well planned, well run, and maybe the most unique show we’ve been at.

See you next for American Hop Museum’s Hoptoberfest 2009.

2008 Holiday Ale Festival - Portland, Oregon

December 9th, 2008

It was great to see all the beer fans at another great Winter show.  We were able to sample many special brews, and others were able to enjoy our Twin Stag.  We were fortunate to attend with good friends, and we ran into some as well- as is usually the case.  The only picture we saved was this one of Chris with our signage in the background:

We sold out of our entire set of kegs dedicated for the fest with a day and a half remaining- and that with us sending more down than normal!  If you missed out, look for Twin Stag on tap and in bottle here in Yakima.

Thanks again to everyone, and we’ll keep brewing.

2008 Fresh Hop Festival

October 5th, 2008

Thanks to everyone who came to the 2008 Fresh Hop Festival! We had a great time and poured a lot of beer. Our Scottish-style ale, Twin Stag, was debuted for the public and was well received.

Next up for us is the 2008 Holiday Ale Festival in Portland, Oregon.

Fresh Hop!

September 6th, 2008

We are excited to have brewed a fresh hop version of our India Pale Ale as a seasonal for October and for the 6th Annual Fresh Hop Festival on October 4th.

Chris and I collected the hops locally and then threatened to move into the warehouse:

Jeff In Hops

Jeff In Hops

Chris In Hops

Chris In Hops

We used a massive amount of fresh Cascades in this special release, which will be start to be available around festival time, including an appearance at our Fresh Hop Festival Brewer’s Dinner at Bob’s Keg & Cork on October 3rd (see Bob for more info on that):

Fresh Hop

Fresh Hop

See you at the festival!

Sweet Summer Ender

August 29th, 2008

Thanks to all who attended the Sweet Summer Ender yesterday. It was great fun for us. We always enjoy catching up with our current beer fans, and meeting new ones. The entertainment, wine and food was top-notch, and the weather (as is most always the case) fantastic. See you at the Fresh Hop Festival.

Thanks to all who attended Case of the Blues 2008

August 18th, 2008

Thanks to all who attended Case of the Blues 2008.  Chris and Julie as well as Marcelle and I enjoyed seeing you there and serving you our beer.  Thanks for choosing local, and helping out the Yakima Greenway Foundation and Junior League of Yakima.

Thanks also to all of those behind the scenes- volunteers, staff, other breweries and wineries- who made our first beer show a great one to remember.