Craft Breweries, described by the Brewers Association as those outlets producing fewer than 6 million barrels each year, are at the ready for a busy July. Slated as “Michigan Craft Beer Month” restaurants and bars throughout Michigan are planning locally made beer specials, tastings, and other events, intended to excite the palates of their patrons. According to the Brewers Association, an American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional with an annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less. Over 1,700 breweries are responsible for the beer brands made in the US with more than 90% of these fitting the small and independent craft brewer definition. These craft breweries have had many successes and challenges, but they could not have developed the reputation as producers of the world’s best beer without the support of beer lovers globally.
Nationwide, Craft beer brands grew 12% (dollar volume) during 2010. This is a staggering statement, and one that further solidifies the market share for small business craft beer producers. The beer segment at large has experienced a 1% decline in dollar volume over the same period previously quoted. So, while craft is growing exponentially, the beer industry as a whole, and especially the largest of producers, are losing dramatic amounts of market share. Joe Cekola, President of statewide Michigan distributor Imperial Beverage, describes this growth, “The response to craft beer is really overwhelming, especially when you consider how far craft has yet to go in its share of the market. In states like Washington and Oregon, where craft beer is such a part of the culture, craft beer brands experience upwards of 35% market share. In Michigan, we have a long way to go to match those numbers, but we are growing every year, and events like Michigan Craft Beer Month make great inroads” to the market share. The Chicago-based Symphony IRI Group, which tracks industry statistics, reports sales of Michigan craft beer in the state’s supermarkets increased from $11.2 million in 2007 to $22 million last year. That’s a good chunk of the nearly $30 million increase (to $273 million) in overall beer sales in the same period.
Imperial Beverage is pleased to distribute the following Michigan Craft Beer Brands:
Detroit Brewing Company
Michigan Brewing Company
Imperial Beverage has offices in Plymouth and Kalamazoo, MI, distributes statewide and employs 180 people in Michigan. Imperial was named Craft Beer Distributor of the Year in 2010.