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BOULDER, Colo. -- Craft beer continues to grow even as overall beer sales lose their suds.
According to the Brewers Association, American craft beer dollar sales and volume were up 15 percent and 13 percent, respectively, during the first six months of 2013. Over the same period last year, dollar sales jumped 14 percent and volume increased 12 percent.
During the first half of 2013, approximately 7.3 million barrels of beer were sold by small and independent craft brewers, up from 6.4 million barrels in the first half of 2012.
The growth of American craft beer continues despite decreased overall beer sales, which were down 2 percent through the first six months of the year, the association noted.
"Demand for beer produced by small and independent brewers has never been higher, as evidenced by increased production and the hundreds of new breweries joining the playing field each year," said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. "Beer drinkers nationwide are responding positively to high-quality, full-flavored, diverse offerings from American craft brewing companies that continue to innovate and push the envelope."
As of June 30, there were 2,538 breweries operating in the United States, an increase of 446 breweries over June 2012. The association also lists an additional 1,605 breweries as "in planning" at the year's midpoint, compared to 1,252 a year ago. As of June 30, the count of craft breweries was at 2,483, showing that 98 percent of U.S. brewers are craft brewers.
The Brewers Association, based in Boulder, is a nonprofit trade association that represents the majority of U.S. breweries.