This press release has been burning up the beer blog threads since it was released. The Brewers Association says that "craft beer dollar sales during the first half of 2008 increased 11% compared to this same period in 2007." "The Brewers Association reports that in the first half of 2008 volume of beer sold by craft brewers grew by 6.5% totaling an estimated 4 million barrels of beer compared to 3.768 million barrels sold in the first half of 2007." The Nielson Company ays that beer sales are affected least by the poor economy as opposed to wine, which is impacted the most.
The key here is to follow the second statistic in that the production of craft beer is increasing. I am skeptical of the first number as the BA never stated whether or not they accounted for the rise in price of craft beer over the last year to various factors. Of course sales would be higher if the average price is higher. The craft beer market is continuously growing which is a good sign for all of us who enjoy these tasty brews.