Sep 28, 2022 - Business

Utah's craft brewery sales saw mixed results in 2021

Credit: Data: Brewers Association; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios

Utah's largest craft breweries saw mixed results in 2021, a year after the pandemic limited indoor gatherings and crippled the industry.

By the numbers: UTOG Brewery in Ogden was the state's fastest-growing craft brewery with a 104% increase in sales, according to an Axios analysis of data from the Brewers Association.

  • The state's largest craft brewer last year, formerly called the Utah Brewers Cooperative — which included Wasatch and Squatters — saw a 5% decline in sales last year.
  • T.F. Brewing and Uinta Brewing Co. also saw declining sales.
  • Kiitos and Moab breweries each saw an 11% and 10% increase in sales, respectively.

Zoom out: The U.S. craft beer industry grew by 8% in 2021.

Between the lines: The annual data — published for its members in the New Brewer journal and analyzed by Axios Denver's John Frank — is the most comprehensive breakdown of the state's craft beer industry.

Yes, but: Not all craft brewers are represented in the rankings because some do not submit sales and production data to the Colorado-based Brewers Association, the industry's trade group.

  • Our analysis looked at sales from breweries, brewpubs and taprooms, but excluded contract brewers.
  • Also excluded are local breweries that don't meet the definition of independent.

What's next: The association's Bart Watson, who compiled the data, says 2022 is producing mixed results and growth projected near 4–5%.

  • Inflation in the cost of raw goods, particularly grain, is hurting the industry. So is competition from other alcohol products, such as canned cocktails and seltzers.
  • One clear pandemic recovery, he said in a recent industry briefing: "At the brewery sales are stronger and still growing so that's a bright spot."

The bottom line: For the next year, Watson sees an elevated "long-term growth rate … but below [2021] when there was still strong growth bouncing back from those pandemic losses."

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