2019: The Year in Beer

As the year draws to a close, and a new year draws every closer, it’s only natural—especially online!—to take a look back at the year that’s ending, and to look ahead at what’s to come.

This was an eventful year for the beer industry as a whole, and for craft beer in particular—but that’s just about the same thing we say every year. What made 2019 different?

Changes in Growth

Yes, the number of US breweries grew again this year… and yes, growth has slowed since a peak a few years back. The Brewers Association anticipates that growth in 2019 will likely end up at about 4% (last year, the industry saw 5% growth).

Slower growth is still growth, however, and the increasing number of breweries means increasing competition—and that competition is taking its toll. It’s expected that when 2019 wraps up, 300 breweries will have closed..

Independent We Stand

More than 4,700 brewing companies have adopted the independent craft brewer seal, representing nearly 80 percent of craft beer brewed in the United States. In October, Delaware became the first state with 100 percent adoption of the seal.

Like We Need a  Reason to Celebrate

There’s National Beer Day, American Craft Beer Week, National Sour Beer Day—the list goes on. And this year, the Brewers Association added two new beer holidays to the calendar: National Independent Beer Run Day on July 3, and Small Brewery Sunday on Dec. 1 — to encourage beer lovers to celebrate and support America’s small and independent brewers.

Slight Sales Slump Across the Beer Industry

Microbrew and craft beer sales are down 0.4% for the year. Total sales volume is down 2.4 percent in the last five years.

Craft Brewery Acquiring Continues

Big Beer (and Big Investors’) interest in acquiring craft breweries shows little sign of slowing. Among this year’s sales: Ballast Point, sold by Constellation Brands Inc., to Illinois-based Kings & Convicts Brewing Co.; Craft Brew Alliance to Anheuser Busch InBev; and New Belgium Brewing to a unit of Japan’s Kirin Holdings Co.

What will next year bring? Well, that’s another post. We’ll see you there!

For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.