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Sales of American Craft Beer Surged by 13 Percent in 2015

The little guys continue to give Big Beer a run for its money

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

There's been no shortage of fretting about the beer industry as of late: Beer is losing precious market share to wine and spirits, craft breweries are getting swallowed up by giant macrobreweries left and right, and Big Beer is only poised to get bigger as the largest merger in industry history looms on the horizon.

But despite all that, things are looking rosy for craft brewers: Yesterday the American craft beer industry reported double-digit growth for the eighth year in a row, reports Fortune, with a 13 percent surge in sales volume for 2015. According to a new report by trade group Brewers Association, craft brewers "now represent 12 percent market share of the overall beer industry"; that means craft beer has more than doubled its share of the beer market compared to just five years ago.

While many craft beer fans have been dismayed to see their favorite brewers getting snapped up by giant beverage conglomerates — Anheuser-Busch buying LA craft brewery Golden Road and San Diego's Ballast Point selling to Constellation Brands, just to name two examples — there's certainly no shortage of new, independently-owned breweries popping up to replace them: 620 new breweries opened in 2015, for a total of more than 4,400 craft breweries currently operating in the U.S.

And things will only continue to ramp up for craft beer, as drinkers continue to seek out flavors more complex than what macrobrewers like Bud and Coors have to offer and are willing to pay a premium price for them: Per Fortune, the industry has an "aspirational goal" of capturing 20 percent of the beer market by 2020.

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