Throughout the U.S. beer industry, overall shipments from brewers have declined 3 percent year-to-date compared with the previous year, said Benj Steinman, president of the trade publication Beer Marketer's Insights. Import shipments have declined 19.3 percent, with domestic shipments down 1.8 percent....The report is a little confusing--craft beer sales are up, but they don't mention craft beer shipments. For other segments, shipments are down marginally. So it's unclear whether increased profits come from increased prices. (And indeed, based on my extremely anecdotal experience, prices are definitely up from a year ago.) Still, it looks like good news.
For the 52 weeks that ended on March 9, craft beer sales rose 12.6 percent from the previous 52-week period, compared with 3 percent for all beer, according to data from market researchers the Nielsen Company.
We'll have to wait to see more recent numbers to see if the trend is continuing. But we'll take provisionally good news where we can find it.