American craft beer exports continued to grow in 2010 with the US Brewers Association reporting estimated international sales by independent craft brewers were up 28 per cent by volume last year, with some regions seeing export increases of more than 90 percent.
The Brewers Association’s recently-concluded annual export survey revealed that for the eighth consecutive year (representing all years for which data has been collected), US craft beer exports increased substantially. In 2010, Brewers Association Export Development Program (EDP) subscribers exported more than 1.8 million gallons of beer, representing a 28 per cent increase over total export volumes in 2009.
The increase in international sales is substantial in light of the lingering global economic recession. Despite decreasing purchasing power, consumer demand for American craft beers has remained strong and importers have continued to expand their portfolios of American craft beer brands. Canada, Sweden and the UK represent the largest markets for American craft beer.
“The 28 per cent increase in the export of U.S. craft beers reflects the increasing consumer thirst across the globe for the world class beers that U.S. craft breweries are creating,” said Brett Joyce, CEO of Rogue Ales and EDP steering committee chair.
The Brewers Association’s Export Development Program began in 2004 with a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program. Since its inception, objectives for the Export Development Program have remained unchanged. These include:
- Educating international trade and media about the quality and diversity of products offered by the U.S. craft beer industry and about U.S. craft beer culture.
- Informing member breweries about opportunities for their products in key international target markets.
- Complementing the industry’s own efforts to increase international distribution.
To date, the Export Development Program has successfully promoted its members’ beer in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, China, Japan, Brazil, Philippines, Singapore and Australia.
The Export Development Program is just another example of the market development activities by the United States’ trade body for small and independent brewers. Presently, Australia has no similar body providing active promotion of craft beer or a co-ordinated approach to developing new markets.