Craft beer production rises in Texas after dip in 2020
Texas craft breweries rebounded in 2021, a promising sign after the pandemic crippled the industry.
The state of beer: Of the state's 10 largest breweries, seven increased production in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to an Axios analysis of data from the Brewers Association.
- Pinthouse Brewing was the state's fastest-growing craft brewery with a 92% increase in sales.
- Just one Texas brewery — Spoetzl Brewery — saw a year-over-year decline in production, but the Shiner-based brewery continues to see the highest sales in the state with more than 500,000 barrels in sales last year.
- The state also saw 12 breweries close and 45 open, the data shows.
The big picture: The country's craft beer industry grew 8% in 2021, while the overall market moved up 1%. Texas placed two breweries among the nation's 50 largest.
- Yes, but: Of the state's top 10 spots based on number of barrels sold, six breweries have yet to reach or surpass their 2019 sales.
Between the lines: The annual data — published for Brewers Association members in the New Brewer journal — is the most comprehensive breakdown of the state's craft beer industry.
Of note: Not all Texas craft brewers are represented in the rankings because some do not submit sales and production data to the Colorado-based Brewers Association, the industry trade group.
- Our analysis looked at sales from breweries, brewpubs and taprooms, but excluded contract brewers.
- Also excluded were local breweries that didn't meet the definition of independent.
What's next: The association's chief economist, Bart Watson, who compiled the data, told Axios' John Frank that 2022 is producing mixed results and projected growth is near 4%-5%.
- Inflation on the cost of raw goods, particularly grain, is hurting the industry. So is competition from other alcohol products, such as canned cocktails and seltzers.
- "At the brewery, sales are stronger and still growing, so that's a bright spot," Watson said in a recent industry briefing, noting one point of pandemic recovery.
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