All told, 29 breweries and brewpubs participated in the annual survey. Combined, they produced approximately 28,372 barrels of beer in 2013. This is a 47% increase in production from 2012.
The report also showed that 121 Alabamians were directly employed in craft beer production, up 42% from the previous year. It is important to note that this internal report only records direct employment in beer production. It does not include all employees in the craft brewing industry nor does it include the indirect or induced employment generated by the manufacturing sector of craft beer.
In 2013 51% of the beer was packaged in kegs, 22% in cans, and 27% in bottles. This continues a trend toward more packaging in cans and bottles as the industry matures.
The vast majority of the beer produced in Alabama continues to be sold through the three-tier system. Only 10% was sold directly to customers at the brewery or brewpub. We expect this share of direct sales to continue decreasing over time as the industry grows.
The report also shows that 14% of the beer produced in Alabama is exported outside of Alabama. Alabama breweries are selling beer to states such as Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas, as well as some international destinations.
Jason Wilson, the president of the Alabama Brewers Guild, remarked on the results of the study:
47% industry growth in a single year is very impressive. Several expansion projects are scheduled to be completed in the coming months, which will allow breweries throughout Alabama to continue to hire more employees and have a positive impact on this State’s economic environment.
Admittedly, 47% is less than the local industry experienced in 2009-2012. It is still, however, well above the national average. Many of Alabama’s breweries and brewpubs are heavily re-investing their success into expanding production and marketing, and we expect rapid growth to continue over the next few years.
The full report can be found here.