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The Explosion of American Beer in Numbers

Beer sales in the United States come to more than $100 billion a year, partly thanks to the exponential growth of craft beer.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:June 2, 2017, 11:06 AM IST
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The Explosion of American Beer in Numbers
Americans spent $34.1 billion on beer in stores, according to Nielsen, which measured sales to retailers over one year to February 25, 2017. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Pali Rao/ Istock.com)

Beer sales in the United States come to more than $100 billion a year, partly thanks to the exponential growth of craft beer.

Here's a snapshot of the industry in a country that spends three times more on beer than water.

206.7 million barrels

Some 206.7 million barrels of beer were distributed in the United States in 2015, the last full year for which official figures are available, according to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Fourteen percent of the total was imported.

$107.6 billion market

Total sales of beer in the United States came to $107.6 billion in 2016, according to the Brewers Association.

$34.1 billion retail sales

Americans spent $34.1 billion on beer in stores, according to Nielsen, which measured sales to retailers over one year to February 25, 2017.

That's almost three times what they spent on water -- $12.5 billion -- and more than they shelled out for wine.

Bud Light the undisputed king

Among America's behemoth beer producers, Anheuser-Busch InBev -- which markets its Budweiser brand as "The King of Beers" -- remains the leader, accounting for almost half of total sales volumes at 44 percent.

Its flagship beer, Bud Light, reigns supreme. Nearly one beer in five (18 percent) sold in the United States is a Bud Light.

Craft beer on the rise

Craft beer breweries accounted for $23.5 billion in sales in 2016, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year, according to the Brewers Association.

Those figures have been driven by an explosion of micro-breweries in recent years. They now produce 20.4 percent of the craft-beer segment.

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