Close Menu

Craft spirits cannibalise craft beer sales

As the trend for craft cocktails grows, interest in craft beer wanes, giving rise to the notions spirits could be cannibalising beer sales.

According to a new report titled ‘2024 Craft Beer and Spirits’ by PMMI Business Intelligence, pre-mixed cocktails are contributing to growth in craft spirits and moving interest away from the craft beer category.

The report, which analysed the experiences of 132 craft beer and spirits industry experts, reflected the disparity between the categories when it came to the momentum of growth. For instance, while craft beer has recently struggled to find routes to boost sales craft spirits were growing in popularity.

In the US, in both beer and spirits categories, to be considered ‘craft’ a producer must reportedly yield fewer than 6 million barrels annually. Similarly, a producer is considered ‘micro’ if they yield under 15,000 barrels annually.

Looking at analytics from the Brewers Association’s 2023 ‘National Beer Sales & Production Data’ craft beer has entered a phase of no growth and slight contraction following a decade of unprecedented growth going from 3,108 craft breweries in 2013 to 9,456 in 2023.

According to the trade body, craft sales dipped by approximately 2% over the course of 2023 and fared slightly better than the overall beer category, which endured a 3% decline in sales, in line with flat sales for craft beer overall.

Despite this contraction in sales, the first half of last year still saw more brewery openings than closures, according to the Brewers Association’s ‘National Beer Sales and Production Data’.

In contrast to craft beer, craft spirits have enjoyed growth and according to JohnsByrne’s, there are now more than 2,500 craft distilleries across the US and overall sales of craft spirits grew by 10.4% in 2022.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No