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Craft beer industry continues to see growth

The business of making craft beer continues grow in the United States.

“Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2011 was 13 percent by volume and 15 percent by dollars compared to growth in 2010 of 12 percent by volume and 15 percent by dollars,” according to the Brewers Association.

“Back in 1996 there was a boom and it seems like we’re going through one now,” said Randy Schultz with Four Peaks Brewing Company in Tempe.

To keep up with demand, Four Peaks recently expanded to two new locations in Tempe.

Four Peak owners say craft beer drinkers want quality and freshness in their beverage of choice. The owners also noted that beer drinking is a culture, one in which consumers are savvy and educated about what they are drinking.

While overall beer sales have seen declines, the craft beer industry continues to show profits.

“Craft brewer retail dollar value in 2011 was an estimated $8.7 billion, up from $7.6 billion in 2010,” according to the Brewers Association’s website.

Currently, there are over 2,000 craft breweries in the nation.