Craft Beer Industry’s Export Program Helps Brewers Think Globally

U.S. craft beer exports topped $125 million last year, and the Brewers Association’s Export Development Program intends to keep the growth going.

Craft beer has been hugely successful across the United States, but its popularity doesn’t stop at the border.  And the Brewers Association plans to keep it that way.

This week, BA announced that in 2017 the American craft brewing industry exported more than 482,000 barrels of product, valued at $125.4 million, to other parts of the world—a 3.6 percent increase from 2016. While Canada took in most of those imports (51.3 percent), significant shares went to the United Kingdom (10.5 percent), Sweden (6.7 percent), South Korea (4.6 percent), Australia (3.8 percent), and China (2.5 percent).

Since 2004, the association has worked hard to strengthen the sector’s export game with its Export Development Program, a subcommittee that helps educate brewers and market beers globally.

Recently, that program took BA to France, where it hosted a beer and food pairing at the residence of Jamie McCourt, the U.S. ambassador to France and Monaco. Officials from a number of notable U.S. craft companies—including Port City Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Maui Brewing, and Three Weavers Brewing—attended.

BA President and CEO Bob Pease said the event was intended “to demonstrate the progress American craft beer has made in the French culinary capital over the last few years.”

In comments to Beverage Daily last year, Pease noted that European companies are following the approaches used by American craft brewers—which he sees as a reflection of how craft beer has become “a global phenomenon.”

“So many European brewers are emulating the business models, the beer styles, the beer processes of American craft beer,”​ Pease told Beverage Daily. “We think that’s really cool because, for us, craft beer brewing started 35 years ago with the pioneers of the American craft beer movement emulating the brew processes styles, flavors of the UK, Germany, and Belgium.”​

(EddieHernandezPhotography/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!