With about 15 craft breweries in the Phoenix area alone and almost every other bar in town carrying at least one craft brew, it may seem as though craft beer has taken over the market. According to NPR, the Brewers Association is reporting that sales of craft beer did increase 20 percent last year, with a 10.9 percent average growth in the past decade. Though sales (and even the number of breweries) are rapidly increasing, the total market share of craft versus big brand beers is still uneven.
See Also: 10 Best Breweries in Metro Phoenix
Even with the 20 percent increase in sales, the Brewers Association reports, craft beer constitutes only about 8 percent of total beer sales, making us regret every PBR we drank at a dive bar last year and every Bud Light we grudgingly chugged at a basketball game.
However, it isn't all about sales. The association goes on to note that there at 2,768 craft breweries operating in the U.S. alone last year, rising from about 2,300 in 2012. In Phoenix alone, we saw, among others, Arizona Wilderness Brewing open its doors and start pumping out some fantastic brews and even Cartel Coffee Lab expanded their brewing game from coffee to beer. With the announcement of a new brewery in downtown Phoenix called Mother Bunch Brewing, the craft brewing momentum is only continuing to grow and become more diverse and creative, even if it hasn't taken the market over yet.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.