Indie beer on the up but big brewer craft rising fast

Latest statistics from IRI Worldwide show that craft beer is a significant contributor to beer’s overall growth, with ‘indie’ craft surging.

They also confirm craft has seen a surge during COVID-19.At its height in June, independent beer, which the IRI calls ‘exploration craft’ contributed 83.7 per cent of the craft beer category’s growth that month.

On the other side of the coin, ‘gateway craft’ which the IRI defines as the craft brands owned by the big brewers, and has grown considerably, though still not quite achieving the growth contributions of independent craft.

The data, which does not include scan data from BWS or Dan Murphy’s, covers the year to 2nd August, and shows spikes in growth in March but a bigger one in December.

Both independent craft beer and corporate craft saw an uplift in the past three months with the total craft category calculated to be worth an estimated $868.6 million this year alone.

Lachlan Cameron, data and insights consultant at IRI, said that the growth of craft beer has accelerated in the company’s latest Moving Annual Total results (MAT).

“Its importance to the beer category continues to grow. In the prior year craft was responsible for 27 per cent of total beer’s growth, this year the contribution is closer to 38 per cent,” he said.

“Craft’s growth is coming equally from corporate ‘gateway’ craft – which contributed 48 per cent of craft’s growth and from indie ’exploration’ craft which equated to 52 per cent of craft’s growth). This is quite a change from the year prior, where independent craft was responsible for over 80 per cent of craft’s growth.

“Despite the recovery of classic in the off-premise during the last 6 months of COVID, this has not been at the expense of Craft beer, whose growth has only accelerated on a percentage and dollar growth actual basis.”

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