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US to Europe: American craft beer exports grow

Althea Chang
Big Data Download

Craft beers are gaining popularity in America, but U.S. craft brewers are seeing increased demand from abroad as well, according to recent analyses.

There's strong demand in Canada and Mexico for U.S. craft beers, and demand for those beers is increasing in the United Kingdom and Sweden, according to IBISWorld, a research firm that released a craft beer industry report last month.

"Basically when you look at Western Europe, you're seeing a lot of countries that have their own nascent craft brewing scenes starting up as well. It's sort of similar to ours, not quite as established yet," explained Hayden Shipp, an IBISWorld industry analyst.

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"Brewers in all of these countries really...have been looking to the U.S. for inspiration lately," Shipp told "Big Data Download."

A craft beer is defined as a brew that's produced by a brewer less than 25 percent owned or controlled by an alcohol-related company that's not a craft brewer, isn't made with lightening ingredients like corn or rice, and has an annual production volume of 6 million barrels or less, according to the Brewers Association, a craft beer trade group.

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The brewer with the largest stake in the craft beer market is Boston Beer Company, the maker of Samuel Adams beers, according to IBISWorld data. Boston Beer holds a 19.3 percent share of the $3.9 billion craft beer market with revenue at an estimated $759.4 million, according to IBISWorld's craft beer industry data.

Second in line is Sierra Nevada, known for its pale ale, which makes up 5.1 percent of the craft beer market, according to IBISWorld. That brewer will bring in about $200 million in revenue this year, according to IBISWorld estimates.

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Overall, craft beer exports are expected to grow by 35.2 percent annually in the five years ending 2018, according to IBISWorld.

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