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90 Percent of American Beers Are Made by Just 11 Different Brewers

The biggest companies continue to buy out smaller craft brewers.


The American craft brewing industry is undoubtedly booming, but the beer sector is still overwhelmingly dominated by just a handful of giants: 11 brewers produce 90 percent of all beer sold in the U.S, says MarketWatch.

The report points out that "[w]hen you look at the beer aisle and your local taproom’s beer list, it looks like a broad array of choices" — but giant corporations "are actually narrowing those choices through acquisitions and diversification." Think, for example, of Anheuser-Busch InBev buying out craft brewers such as Chicago's Goose Island and Seattle's Elysian Brewing in recent years.

And while the latest stats on craft beer certainly look favorable — "We’re told that craft beer’s share of the market rose 17.6% last year, accounting for 11% of beer volume and $19.6 billion of the beer industry’s $101.5 billion in sales," says MarketWatch — the reality is that still, "one of every five beers sold is a Bud Light."

On the other hand, American craft beer exports are on a major upswing: 2014 saw a 35 percent increase in other countries' thirst for U.S.-born craft brews, resulting in $99.7 million worth being exported last year (the leading consumer is Canada).