While craft beer continues to expand and the number of America breweries surpassed 6,000 in 2017, there are signs of recession elsewhere.
U.S. brewers shipped 170,066,000 barrels of beer in 2017, a decline of 2.2% compared with 173,901,390 barrels shipped in 2016.
The data is from estimates of domestic tax paid shipments by beer brewers, released recently by The Beer Institute, a national trade association for the U.S. brewing industry. Their numbers reflect revised estimates released by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
Last year’s figures include a volume decline of 8% in December and 9.5% in February:
This comes at a time when some of the larger legacy brewers are struggling, macro brands are shrinking in sales, and even the explosive craft category has somewhat slowed as corporate interests gain influence.
U.S. beer volume in 2016 was relatively flat compared with 2015.