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By The Numbers: A Year In Beer

On National Beer Day, let’s take a closer look at the beer industry in the U.S.

On National Beer Day, let’s take a closer look at the beer industry in the U.S. Consistently ranked as the most popular alcoholic beverage in the country, beer has a special place in the hearts and refrigerators of many.  


The $105.9 billion beer market last year sold 196,701,792 barrels of beer. Each barrel of beer contains 31 gallons, or nearly two kegs.

22.3 billion

Craft brewers were responsible for $22.3 billion of 2015’s beer sales, which constitutes just more than 12 percent of total beer sales and marks a 15 percent revenue growth over 2014.


Americans (over the age of 21) each consume an annual average of 27.5 gallons of beer and cider.


In 2015, the U.S. imported 31,245,124 barrels of beer, up 6.2 percent from 2014.


To be considered regional, a brewery has to produce between 15,000 and 6,000,000 barrels of beer each year. If it produces more than 6 million, it’s considered a large brewery, and if it produces less than 15,000, it’s a microbrewery.


Last year, U.S. craft beer exports increased by 16.3 percent, with 446,151 barrels.


Of the 4,269 breweries on record with the Brewers Association in 2015, only 44 were non-craft brewers.


The craft beer industry produced about 19,079,780 barrels in 2015. Regional breweries accounted for 77.8 percent of that production, 16 percent was produced by microbreweries and 5.2 percent made by brewpubs, where more than a quarter of beer made is sold on site. Contract brewers produced the remaining 1 percent.

Do you think you think you live up to the average annual beer consumption of more than 27 gallons? Do you think the craft beer industry will continue to grow? Comment below or tweet @KatieeMohr.

(Data provided by the Brewers Association and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.)

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