Craft distilling in the United States is no longer a niche industry. It’s a multi-billion juggernaut with nearly 2,000 operating distilleries across the country. Total sales and revenue, market share, investment, and employment are all rapidly on the rise and forecasts are that the trend continues in the years ahead.
For the past several years, the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) has released an annual report called the Craft Spirits Data Project, putting the industry’s size, growth, and breadth into context. The last report, released in fall of 2018, showed a total of 1,835 active craft distilleries as of last August, up 15.5% from 2017. In the same time span, producers saw a 23.7% growth in retail cases sold, up to 7.2 million, and a 29.9% rise in sales, up to $3.7 billion.
It’s not just craft distillers experiencing growth; large producers are also shining, and it’s part of an overall spirituous American imbibing shift. Think not only of the distilleries you may have in your local region, but to a much larger degree, the staggering number of craft cocktail bars, and consumers’ thirst for premium, limited-edition spirits releases.