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Craft Beer Surges 13% In First Half

July 20, 2012

Craft beer case sales increased 12.6% in the year-to-date through July 8, 2012 in food/drug/convenience stores, according to the SymphonyIRI Group. Total beer case sales increased only 0.8% year-to-date, and the only segment to outperform craft beer was the domestic super-premium-priced category (+33.5%), due to the recent launch of Bud Light Platinum.

Craft beers performed even better in terms of dollar sales (+17.1% year-to-date), and the average price of craft beer in SymphonyIRI channels now stands at $33.43 per case, higher than any other segment, including imports.

India Pale Ale was the fastest-growing major craft style and is the single largest-selling style in terms of case/dollar sales. Seasonal beers and variety packs also continue to do well. Craft wheat beers declined year-to-date as they face stiff competition from giant wheat brands like Shock Top from Anheuser-Busch and Blue Moon from MillerCoors.

The three-largest craft beer companies, Boston Beer Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing and New Belgium Brewing, all posted double-digit growth year-to-date in SymphonyIRI channels, at rates surpassed only by regional brewer DG Yuengling & Son among all major beer marketers. Samuel Adams seasonal beers, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA and Sierra Nevada seasonal beers performed particularly well.

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