Beer Industry Statistics and Trends – All You Should Know in 2021

Beer Industry Statistics and Trends – All You Should Know in 2021

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Beer is one of the oldest drinks made by humans—the first barley beer production dates back to the period of the Sumerians, around 4,000 BCE. According to beer industry statistics, beer is now a $623 billion worth industry with global beer production amounting to 1.91 billion hectoliters.

Moreover, beer is the most consumed alcoholic drink and the third most consumed drink after water and tea.

Let’s dive into the extraordinary world of the beer industry. We’re sharing the most recent global and US market statistics, consumer preferences, economic impact, and hottest trends.

Key Beer Industry Statistics (Editor’s Pick)

  • The global beer market is valued at $623 billion.
  • Corona boasts $8.2 billion in brand value.
  • In 2020, the beer industry in the US sold 204.8 million barrels.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev holds almost 40% of the beer industry market in the US.
  • Draft beer accounts for 6% of the total beer volume.
  • Despite the coronavirus, Tuborg saw a 26% brand value increase.
  • Craft beer has a $22.2 billion retail value.
  • Sales of hard seltzer products will reach $15 billion through 2025.

Global Beer Industry Statistics

Four hands holding glasses of beet at the table full of food

1. The global beer market has reached a value of $623 billion.

(Globe News Wire)

The international beer market amounts to $623.2 billion, and it’s projected to experience stable growth between 2021 and 2026. Furthermore, global statistics reveal that by 2025, out-of-home consumption will account for 51% of spending and 35% of volume consumption in the beer market.

2. The global beer production amounts to 1.91 billion hectoliters.

(Statista)

According to the latest international beer industry statistics, production reached 1.91 billion hectoliters, a slight decrease from the peak in 2013 when 1.97 billion hectoliters of beer were produced. Production-wise, the leading countries are China, the US, and Brazil.

3. China accounts for $123 billion of the global beer industry revenue.

(Statista, Business Wire)

The majority of the global beer industry revenue is generated in China, beer stats show. The country generates $123 billion in revenue. Beer accounts for about 75% of the total alcohol consumption in China.

On an annual basis, Chinese people consume more than 45 billion liters which is five times more than the European leader, Germany, and double that of the US.

4. At $8.2 billion, Corona is the most valued beer brand worldwide.

(Brand Finance)

The latest beer data shows that Corona, the Mexican pale lager, is the most valued beer brand. The beer has a presence in more than 120 countries globally and is the best-selling imported drink in the US and the fastest-growing grocery product in the UK.

Heineken is the second most valued beer brand at $6.7 billion, followed by Budweiser at $6.4 billion.

5. The Belgian company Anheuser-Busch InBev generates $52.33 billion in sales.

(BizVibe)

Beer sales statistics reveal that Anheuser-Busch InBev controls over a third of the global beer market. It’s responsible for producing and distributing numerous international brands, including Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artos, Leffe, and Hoegaarden.

The company reported $52.33 billion in revenue in 2020, making almost double that of Heiniken ($26.8 billion). Japanese Asahi Breweries is the third-ranked beer company with $19.2 billion in revenue.

US Beer Industry Statistics

Six glasses of beer with different beer varieties

6. With a volume of $109 billion, beer is a vital segment in the US alcoholic market.

(Statista, NBWA, Statista)

Beer is the most consumed alcoholic drink in the US. It’s also the largest segment in the alcoholic market. The total revenue of alcoholic beverages in the US is $249 billion, and beer contributes $109 billion in revenue.

As of 2020, 82% of all beer in the US is produced domestically, which highlights the vast US beer industry growth rate. The rest (18%) of beers are imported from more than 100 countries globally.

7. The US beer industry sold 204.8 million beer barrels.

(NBWA)

The beer industry sold 204.8 million barrels of beer, where one barrel is equivalent to 31 gallons. To put it another way, the American beer industry sold an equivalent of 2.8 billion of 24 12-ounce containers globally.

Furthermore, the industry shipped 3.3 billion barrels of fermented products like cider.

8. 39% of American alcohol drinkers prefer beer.

(Gallup)

Nearly 40% of American alcohol drinkers favor beer over wine and liquor. Based on beer industry demographics data, 54% of men drinking alcohol say they drink most often beer compared to 23% of women. Furthermore, data reveals that adults under 55 are most likely to prefer beer.

9. The retail sales of beer in the US fell to $100 billion in 2020.

(NBWA)

During the pre-pandemic period, the US beer industry sold $120 billion in beer through retail establishments, including restaurants and bars.

However, following the coronavirus outbreak and the measures to contain it, including the closure of these retail establishments, sales fell to $100 billion.

10. Per capita beer consumption in the US is 26.1 gallons.

(NBWA, 247Wallst)

According to the United States beer consumption statistics, beer is the most popular alcoholic drink. The average consumption per capita is 26.1 gallons.

New Hampshire is the leading state in beer consumption per capita at 41.4 gallons per adult, followed by Montana at 41 gallons and South Dakota at 37.3 gallons. North Dakota and Vermont follow at 37.2 and 33.9 gallons, respectively.

Beer Sales Data by Type and Brand

bottles of Heiniken beer in ice

11. Anheuser-Busch InBev holds 38.7% of the US beer industry market.

(NBWA)

In the past few years, there has been significant growth in small breweries. This fast-pacing trend is making the US market competitive and dynamic. When it comes to leading beer companies, Anheuser-Busch InBev is still at the top, holding 38.7% of the market.

Molson Coors comes in next with 21.1% of the American beer market share. Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500 company, has 11.3% market share, increasing from 5.3% in 2010. Mark Anthony Brands (Mike’s) also noted a significant growth over the past decade from 0.6% in 2010 to 4.4% in 2020.

12. Generating $7.19 billion, Budweiser is the best-selling premium beer in the US.

(Statista)

The total premium beer category sales are estimated at $27.54 billion. According to beer sales statistics by brand, Budweiser holds the best-selling title, with sales amounting to $7.19 billion in the US.

The second-ranked premium beer, Michelob, sees about half of the Budweiser sales revenue—$3.1 billion. Coors is third-ranked with $2.6 billion in sales, followed by Miller Lite with $2.2 billion and Busch with $1.7 billion.

13. Michelob is the leading super-premium US beer brand with sales of $2.54 billion.

(Statista)

The total sales of super-premium beer brands in the US are $3.33 billion. When it comes to super-premium beer market share by brand, Michelob ranks first. The light beer was introduced back in 2002 and is designed to suit a healthier lifestyle of beer lovers.

Now it generates the vast majority of the super-premium beer sales—$2.54 billion.

14. Tuborg saw a 26% brand value increase to $968 million.

(Brand Finance)

The Danish beer Tuborg has been part of the Carlsberg Group since 1970. According to recent beer industry statistics, the brewery’s flagship, the Tuborg Pilsner, saw solid sales performance in 2020 despite the coronavirus economic impact.

China and India were the leading revenue generators for the brand, with the latter accounting for over two-thirds of the annual sales.

15. The draft beer share of total beer volume is 6%.

(NBWA)

The closure of bars, restaurants, and other retail establishments due to the coronavirus changed the beer consumption trends and caused a drop in draft beer sales. As a result, the total volume share declined to 6% from 10% in 2019.

At the same time, packaged beer sales rose from 60% in 2019 to 67% in 2020. That said, the glass-bottled beer experienced an insignificant impact dropping from 29% in 2019 to 28% in 2020.

16. Over 60% of Americans prefer lagers and pilsners.

(Statista)

The current trends in the beer industry reveal US consumers prefer lagers and pilsners. About 60.6% have named these beer styles as their favorite beer varieties. At 42%, Amber Ale is the second most preferred style, followed by Pale Ale/IPA at 41.3% and Wheat at 3.1%.

Belgian is the beer style of preference for 32.2% of beer drinkers, whereas 25.1% choose Stout/Porter and 24.9% Brown Ale. Only 10.3% would opt for Sour.

Craft Beer Industry Statistics

Glasses of craft beer and two people in the background

17. Craft breweries produced 23.1 million beer barrels in 2020.

(Brewers Association)

The craft beer production saw a 9% decline in 2020, decreasing the market’s share by volume from 13.6% in 2019 to 12.3%. Since the rise of craft beer, this was the first time the volume has dropped, and it’s also the lowest production level over the past five years.

18. 44% of adult drinkers aged 21 and above opt for craft beer.

(Brewers Association)

Recent craft beer popularity statistics indicate steady growth. The percentage of craft beer drinkers aged 21 and above has risen from 35% in 2015 to 44% in 2020. Projections are that this trend will continue in the years to come as the majority of the millennial drinking population will either stay or move into the fundamental craft beer consumer age range.

19. According to recent craft beer stats, the craft beer retail value is $22.2 billion.

(Brewers Association)

The industry’s value is estimated at $22.2 billion after experiencing a 22% decline over 2019. Nevertheless, the sector contributed about $62 billion to the US economy in 2020. Additionally, it provided more than 400,000 jobs — of which 140,000 were directly at breweries and brewpubs — despite the challenging times following the coronavirus outbreak.

20. The global craft beer industry growth trends project a Molson13% increase between 2020 and 2024.

(AP News)

Projections are that the craft beer industry will grow by 13% between 2020 and 2024, reaching $47.79 billion. The majority (51%) of that growth will happen in the US and Canada, whereas Europe will also experience a significant increase in the forecasted period.

21. Currently, there are more than 8,764 craft breweries across the US.

(Brewers Association, Brewers Association)

The number of breweries in the US grows exponentially. About 3,471 are taprooms, 3,219 are brewpubs, 1,854 are microbreweries, and 220 are regional craft breweries. Most of these breweries have already introduced their unique beers.

22. California has 958 craft breweries.

(Brewers Association)

California’s 958 craft breweries produce 3,356,134 barrels of beer a year and have an estimated economic impact of 9.6 billion. New York is second-ranked with 460 craft breweries. According to beer sales by state, these breweries add 4.8 million to New York’s economy.

Pennsylvania packs 444 craft breweries which add about 5.5 billion to the state’s economy. Boasting 433 craft breweries, Colorado sees a $3.3 billion contribution from the craft beer industry. Washington rounds up the top five states with the most craft breweries. The 428 establishments add about $2 billion to the state’s economy.

23. Blue Moon is the leading craft beer brand in the US, with sales of $400 million.

(Statista, Moolson Coors Blog)

According to craft beer consumer statistics, Blue Moon, the signature beer of Blue Moon Brewing Co. (MillerCoors), is one of the most popular craft beers in the US. It celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020.

Although the coronavirus economic shakedown hit the company, it managed to achieve 17% growth in off-premise sales volume. Blue Moon gained massive momentum with its largest national packaging, 15-packs of White Belgian-Style Ale, noting a 75% growth.

24. Vermont leads in craft beer production by state with 151 pints per person.

(CR Research)

Vermont is the craft beer capital with 151 pints per person. Delaware comes in second with 101 pints per person, followed by Alaska, Pennsylvania with 96 pints per person. Colorado produces about 91 pints per person, Oregon 86, and Maine 77.

25. Boasting 11.5 breweries per capita, Vermont is the leading US state in beer production.

(CR Research)

Craft brewery statistics confirm that Vermont is considered the US beer capital with 11.5 breweries per capita. Montana and Maine follow with 9.6 breweries per capita, each. Oregon boasts 8.5 breweries per capita, followed by Colorado with 8.4 breweries per capita.

26. 48% of craft beer drinkers had their beers delivered directly from a brewery to their homes.

(SOVOS)

The pandemic impacted the trends in the craft beer industry. About 48% of regular craft beer drinkers bought beer from a brewery and had it delivered to their homes at some time during the pandemic.

Also, the SOVOS report showed that seven in 10 responders are interested in having craft beer delivered to their homes. What is more, 70% of brewery owners would use the direct-to-consumer shipping method if legal in their state.

27. Since 2015, the craft beer industry has grown by 43% in New Jersey and Kentucky, respectively.

(CR Research)

The craft beer industry growth rate over the past few years has been steady in almost all states. However, recent data highlights that it was most significant in Kentucky and New Jersey—43% in each state.

The industry segment has also grown by 39% in Oklahoma and 37% in North Carolina. Finally, Virginia and New Hampshire round up the list of top five states that have seen significant growth in the craft beer industry at 36% and 33%, respectively.

Top Trends in The Beer Industry

A glass of craft beer on a table

28. Hard seltzer sales are projected to reach $15 billion by 2025.

(Market Watch)

Seltzer is a beer under federal regulation, even though it’s essentially alcoholic water. It contains alcohol, carbonated water, and flavorings. Usually, the alcohol is produced by fermenting cane sugar or using malted barley.

As a result, the beverage is lighter and even more refreshing than the regular beer. Hard seltzer is now one of the hottest trends in the beer industry, and sales are projected to reach $15 billion through 2025.

29. Rosé beer production grew by 740% throughout 2019.

(Seven FIfty Daily)

More and more breweries are experimenting with notes of wine within beer. As a result, rosé beer production has skyrocketed throughout 2019, and it’s poised to become an even bigger thing. Some experts even predict that rosé beer won’t just be one of the passing beer industry trends but a new niche in the beverage industry.

30. The global non-alcoholic beer market is expected to reach a value of $25 billion by 2024.

(BevIndustry, Statista)

The non-alcoholic beer market notes a meteoric rise. In 2020, sales of this type of beer went up by 37%. Currently, the non-alcoholic beer industry is valued at $18 billion, and in the upcoming years, it’s expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5%, reaching $25 billion through 2024.

Beer Industry Trends -What to Expect in the Next Few Years?

The COVID-19 impact on the beer industry has been overwhelming. The on-premise shutdowns and supply chain challenges forced significant disruptions. Sales at retail locations declined as online sales flourished.

Moreover, despite the solid off-premise sales growth, the entire industry is down by 3%. The craft beer segment was hit the hardest, experiencing a 22% decline in sales over 2019. In the future, the beer industry will recoup and experience stable growth.

Out-of-home consumption will thrive again, accounting for 51% of spending and 35% of volume consumption in the beer market through 2025.  Apart from that, passionate beer lovers should limit its daily intake, as it can lead to obesity and other health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Beer is the most consumed alcoholic drink and the third most consumed beverage overall. The international beer industry is valued at $623 billion. According to recent projections, the industry will experience stable growth through 2026.

The global beer production amounts to 1.91 billion hectoliters, which is only a slight decrease from the production peak in 2013 when 1.97 billion hectoliters were produced. China, the US, and Brazil are the countries generating the largest beer production.

The coronavirus outbreak and the measures to contain it impacted the entire economy. Operating in highly challenging circumstances, independent and small breweries were hit the hardest. According to estimations, these establishments churned about 23.1 million barrels which is a 9% decline.

This caused the craft beer share of the overall beer industry to fall from 13.6% to 12.3%. The overall beer market also experienced hardships and declined by 3% between 2019 and 2020.

According to the latest survey conducted by YouGov, the most popular beer among Americans is Guinness, with a 49% score. The Irish smooth and creamy dry stout is a steady option for the adult population. Corona and Blue Moon follow with a popularity score of 46%, each.

Finally, Heineken and Samuel Adams conclude the top five most popular beers in America with a popularity score of 45% each.

The consumption of the fermented beverage dates from 9,000 years ago, and the first signs of beer appear about 4,000 years later. However, the first written recipe for beer is considered the Hymn to Ninkasi, which dates to 1,800 B.C. Ninkasi was the Sumerian goddess of beer, and the hymn praises her and provides a beer recipe that includes barley bread and reveals brewing techniques.

The oldest brewery in the world is considered to be the Weihenstephan Brewery. According to some records, the brewery started producing beer in 1040. They are best known for Hefeweizen or wheat beer which is highly reputed.

The neighboring brewery, Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, started brewing beer only ten years later. The brewery has gained praise for the Dunkel Lager, also considered the world’s oldest dark beer.

Beer lovers would argue that the best beer in the world is a highly subjective title. However, according to the recent World Beer Awards, Kellerbier by Karlsberg is the best lager, Wanderer by Whalers Brewing Company is crowned the best IPA, and the French Blonde by Anosteke is the top pale beer.

Furthermore, Brugs Tarwebier by Brouwerij de Halve Maan holds the award for best wheat beer, whereas Qualified by Taxman Brewing Company is the world’s best dark beer.

Beer remains the most favored drink and the numbers look more optimistic now that the economic recovery has started. According to some projections, beer production is up by 6-7% compared to 2020, but these levels still fall below pre-pandemic production.

As a result, beer industry statistics reveal that the industry will need to recover to its previous production levels until 2022 and a few years more to return to the growing trend of 3-4% a year.