Craft beer market draws attention of big breweries

on 23/09/10 at 10:41 pm

Beer, Industry

Despite ailing beer sales, craft segment is hopping.

The economic downturn hurt the restaurant industry and canceled a lot of travel plans, but it hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for the ales, lagers, stouts and other specialty brews known as craft beers.

While overall beer sales fell by 2 percent last year, the first decline in six years, the craft segment keeps growing. Craft beers still account for just 4.5 percent of U.S. consumption, but sales have increased by about 50 percent over the last five years, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.

And that’s got big brewers looking for a bigger piece of the action. (Aaaaargh.)

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