Bob Pease, chief executive/president of the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers, highlights the latest annual growth figures and the importance of quality on draught beer systems.
Latest annual growth figures for the American craft beer industry show that small and independent brewers collectively produced 25.9 million barrels and realised 4% growth in 2018, increasing craft’s overall beer market share by volume to 13.2%.
Retail dollar value was estimated at $27.6 billion, representing 24.1% market share and 7% growth over 2017. This growth occurred in an overall downward beer market, which dropped 1% by volume in 2018. The 50 fastest-growing breweries delivered 10% per cent of craft brewer growth, and craft brewers provided more than 150,000 jobs — an increase of 11% over 2017.
There are now 7,346 craft breweries in America and as this number increases, so too does the complexity of the draught beer landscape. Draught beer has always been an important part of brewery sales and many small and independent American craft brewers establish their brands
on draught before packaging in bottle or cans.
Focus on quality
Today’s beer consumer is more knowledgeable and discerning than ever before, and just one bad experience can put off a potential craft drinker for life. As a result, there is a greater focus on draught beer quality and the need for a well-executed draught beer programme is at an all-time high.
One of the key challenges for the Brewers Association is to ensure that beer arrives to the consumer with all the freshness and flavour that the brewer intended. In an on-going effort to improve the quality of beer served at retail, the Brewers Association technical committee and the draught beer quality subcommittee is releasing the updated and revised fourth edition of the Draught Beer Quality Manual (DBQM).
Often called the bible of draught beer, the DBQM presents well-researched, detailed information on draught line cleaning, system components and design, pressure and gas balance, proper pouring technique, glassware sanitation and other valuable advice from experts. Also included is information on both direct and long-draw systems, important safety tips, and helpful visuals for easy reference. Anyone tasked with performing or
overseeing draught line cleaning will appreciate the updated recommendations reflecting current best practices.
Whether you’re using short-term solutions or updating a draught system, this book can help you deliver great beer. The focus on cleaning, maintenance and proper operation of draught systems will help ensure quality beer and thus help enhance the customer’s experience.
Despite being written for an American market, much of the information contained within DBQM is relevant to UK operators. It is intended for draught system installers, beer wholesalers, retailers, brewers, and anyone with an interest in quality draught beer, and can be downloaded free of charge from www.draughtquality.org/
The Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality Working Group began focusing on draught beer quality at retail in 2007. Under the guidance of Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co and 2008 chair of the Brewers Association technical committee, the brewing community came together to develop a set of best practices and standards to help brewers, wholesalers, retailers, and draught system installers improve and maintain the quality of draught beer. The Draught Beer Quality Manual continues to evolve through collaborative efforts within the brewing community.
About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.
The BA represents 4,000-plus US breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers.
The BA organises events including the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week.
The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine, and Brewers Publications is the largest publisher of brewing literature in the US.
Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association and the free Brew Guru mobile app.