Why you’ll soon be drinking more Craft Spirits: stats from the States

Like many trends, the growth of small, independent alcohol producers started in the States before making its way to Europe. The US wave began with beer a couple of decades ago and has been sweeping the American spirits industry for a few years now. The ripples have definitely crossed the Atlantic, particularly to the UK, and will continue to have significant effects on the alcohol market for years to come. 

Below are a few facts from the States that precede what is well-poised to be a similar trend in the UK. As you read, keep in mind that the UK market for super-premium gins had a CAGR of 40% between 2008 and 2012 and that 30 micro-distilleries will have launched in the 3 years to the end of 2014. 



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  • overall beer sales in the States declined slightly from 2007 to 2012 but Craft beers attained a CAGR of 12%.
  • 30% of craft beer drinkers said they were drinking even more craft beers while 11% of craft beer drinkers are new to the niche. 
  • Craft beer sales, which represented 6.5% of total beer sales in the US in 2012 are predicted to compose 15% of the market by 2020
  • the number of craft breweries in the States grew 12% in 2011

source: Demeter Group Investment Bank


The American Craft Spirits Association estimates that the trend towards craft spirits is 20 years behind that of craft beer but that its growth is “statistically slightly higher than the comparable period in craft brewing”.

  • 50 micro-distilleries in operation in 2005
  • over 320 in operation in 2012
  • 14% growth in craft spirits from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013 vs. a decline of 1.3% in mainstream spirits
  • 1.9% of the entire spirits market in Q2 2013 vs. 1.7% in 2012

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