An Analysis of the Brewpub Industry

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The Brewpub: An Introduction

The brewpub is considered a segment of the craft-brewing industry. It is an industry in which many entrepreneurial opportunities exist. A brewpub is a restaurant-brewery that sells the majority of its beer on site. The beer is brewed primarily for sale in the restaurant and bar (Association of Brewers.) Most brewpubs are independently owned and are classified as small businesses. (This section will need more once unit2 work is done.)

An Overview of the Industry

The continued growth trend really speaks to the stability of craft beer in a variety of economic environments it has experienced. The quality and diversity of American beer has never been better. It's exciting to think about what tomorrow will bring.

--Paul Gatza, director of the Institute for Brewing Studies

Industry Profile

Four distinct markets--brewpubs, microbreweries, regional specialty breweries and contract brewing companies, define the craft beer industry.

2002*2001*Vol. Change% Change

Contract1,148,3741,016,478131,896+ 13.0%

Regional Specialty3,767,4213,666,525100,896+ 2.8%

Microbrewery748,560759,654-11,094- 1.5%

Brewpub656,373669,853-13,480- 2.0%

Overall6,320,7286,112,510208,218+ 3.4%

*# of barrels of beer produced

*Association of Brewers 2002 Craft Beer industry Statisitcs

Beer Sales

The Association of Brewers reports that the total growth of the craft beer industry was 3.4%. (Growth is measured by numbers of barrels of beer U.S. breweries produced in 2002.) This growth is up from 1.2% in 2001. This is the craft beer industry's 33 consecutive year of growth. Total U.S. craft beer industry annual dollar volume was $3.4 billion up from $3.3 billion in 2001.

Beer Distribution

The brewing industry is organized into a so-called "three-tier" distribution system: 1) brewers and importers, 2) wholesalers, and 3) retailers. Under this system, brewers and importers generally transport their products to distribution warehouses, where they are temporarily stored and then reloaded onto distribution trucks and delivered via a routing system to individual retailers...