Craft Beer Segment Pours Record-Breaking Growth for First Half 2007

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- With craft beers increasingly making their way into the mainstream, the segment captured more than 5 percent dollar share of total beer sales for the first time during the first half of 2007, according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Craft beer volume increased by 11 percent during this time, and dollar growth increased by 14 percent, the trade group said.

"America's 1,400 craft brewers are a vital part and a growing segment of the beer industry in the U.S., and they make significant contributions to the national economy and state economies," said NBWA president Craig Purser. "The soaring sales of craft beer show how much Americans of legal drinking age are taking advantage of the wide selection of flavors and variety of beer brands available to them."

There are more than 13,000 brands of beer are available in the U.S., according to NBWA figures, and beer distributors help craft brewers grow and compete by providing the infrastructure small brewers need to reach a wide network of retailers while complying with state laws regulating alcohol, said the association.

"Consumers benefit by having the choice between the largest international brands and the smallest local brands all on the same store shelf, restaurant list and bar tap," said Purser. "Because of the economic efficiencies of the distribution system, retailers are able to offer hundreds of choices at a great value to the American consumer."

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