Modern Craft Beer

  • Today, 99 percent of the more than 3,400 breweries in the U.S. are small and independent and traditional craft breweries (see Craft Brewing Statistics).
  • Small brewing companies employed approximately 115,469 people in 2014, bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase, “will work for beer.”
  • The volume share for craft brewers in 2014 was 11 percent, up from 7.8 percent in 2013.
  • American tastes are changing. We increasingly want choices of flavor in the foods that we buy. For example, Nielsen Company research confirms that beer drinkers are shifting to more robust beer styles, and we know from Symphony IRI (SIG) that seasonal beer is one of the top-selling craft beer categories.
  • Small and independent craft brewers are known for being passionate and innovative makers of full-flavored beer.
  • The Brewers Association has defined 142 beer styles. The majority of these styles are all-malt based.
  • Craft brewers are amazing community citizens and have donated millions of dollars to local causes and provide thousands of jobs across the U.S.
  • The average American lives within 10 miles of a brewery. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken tours or sampled beers at their local brewery.

Modern Craft Beer Compared to Wine and Liquor

The following headlines appeared in the Gallup Poll in past years:

2014: Beer Is Americans’ Adult Beverage of Choice This Year
2011: Wine Matches Beer in U.S. Drinkers’ Preferences This Year
2010: U.S. Drinking Rate Edges Up Slightly to 25-Year High
2009: Beer Edges Out Wine, Liquor as Drink of Choice in U.S.

2008: Beer Back to Double-Digit Lead Over Wine as Favored Drink
2007: Beer Again Edges Out Wine as Americans’ Drink of Choice

Beer Styles

There are hundreds of beer styles, or types of beer, defined by several prominent organizations. Find out more using the Style Finder.