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Craft beer industry fizzles amid sobering downward trend

Colorado The craft beer industry has gone flat, seeing negative production for the second straight year in 2023.

Despite the fizzling trend, data released from the Colorado-based Brewers Association, the trade association representing America’s small and independent breweries, shows new brewery openings continue to exceed closings. That means craft beer sales bubbled over better than the beer market as a whole.

“2023 was another competitive and challenging year for small and independent brewers,” said Bart Watson, vice president of strategy and chief economist of the Brewers Association. “Nevertheless, even as growth has downshifted, small brewers have proved quite resilient, as seen in the increase in number of breweries, relatively low closing rates, and gains in onsite sales and jobs.”

Still, with a surge in mocktail popularity and shift toward a booze-free lifestyle, independent small brewers are tapping into updated business models, and go-to-market and brand strategies to help their business stay afloat. 


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