Update of the last quarter of 2021 and launch of the survey on the production of the beer industry

This article is a pretty blatant attempt to lure you in with data, and while you’re here, remember we launched our annual production survey. The Beer Industry Production Survey (BIPS) is the most in-depth statistical resource available to us at the Brewers Association (BA) and will be the source of many articles with even more data than this one at the future. If you have a few minutes, please provide us with your 2021 numbers.

I would be a bad survey host if I didn’t give you the data I promised in the first place. In this case, this is a quick update of analytics data, as well as a few onsite data sources, displayed for the period October, November, December (OND or Q4) for beer artisanal, traditionally a critical quarter for many brewers.

The short version is that the analytics data shows:

  • Share of craft dollar in beer similar to 2019 and slightly lower than 2020, with little change from Q3 (Q3)
  • Overall dollar sales levels still exceeding 2019 with a decent margin but lagging slightly behind 2020
  • OND actually looked slightly better in absolute terms compared to Q3 for BA Craft, although it still lagged behind the overall beer trend.

For the first bullet, here is the BA Craft dollar’s share by quarter in IRI analysis data, including the US total, multiple outlets plus convenience (MULO + C), and alcohol, for 2019-2021:

Although the OND is not the strongest beer selling time of the year, it is the highest share time for crafts, hence its importance to many brewers. The craft share was pretty stable and the T4 looked a lot like the T3. The performance was similar (Q3 is different due to rounding, but not that different) and only slightly below 2019.

Looking at the absolute levels (shown below as a smoothed four-week moving average from previous years), we see a clear divergence comparing this year to 2019 (pre-pandemic) versus 2020 ( pandemic logic). As you can see, artisanal packaging sales are still high compared to pre-pandemic, although they have declined throughout the OND period.

BA’s craft dollar sales were on average -3.2% lower than 2020 levels at OND, which is an improvement from -4.2% in the third quarter. It also improved slightly compared to 2019, up 12.1% in OND against 11.1% in Q3 (note: the weakness at the end of the year makes this kind of vision difficult to see, a visualization of sign is not always the best way to pick up these trends). Overall, beer is down -2.2% in Q4 from 2020 and -2.2% in Q3, so craft is moving a bit more in its trend.

We don’t really have a full set of OND numbers for the site yet, but the first numbers we have from October suggest that onsite recovery has stalled a bit. Considering some of the labor market and general retail numbers that we see for November, coupled with the Omicron hike, I wouldn’t expect it to improve much when we get some more definitive numbers for November / December, and in fact the trends may even weaken slightly. I talked more about the graph below in my recent Collaborative Hour, so if you want to know more, take a look at it or feel free to contact us.

To conclude, OND feels like it may end up being a break in any recovery. I suspect that the relatively stable offsite can numbers are going to be reflected in fairly consistent onsite numbers. It likely ends 2021 in a better place than Crafting was for most of 2020 and 2021, but still lagging behind its previous preliminary sales, and with packaged sales perhaps starting to come back. at 2019 levels (although, as stated, are actually stronger than 2019 than Q3). The last big chunk is the brewery sale. We will learn more about this through our survey (please complete it!)

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