Texas craft beer production on the rise after 2020

Data: Brewers Association; Painting: Thomas Oide/Axios

Texas craft breweries rebounded in 2021, a promising sign after the pandemic crippled the industry.

The state of the beer: Of the state’s 10 largest breweries, seven increased production in 2021 from a year earlier, according to an Axios analysis of data from the Brewers Association.

  • Pinthouse Brewing was the fastest growing craft brewery in the state with a 92% increase in sales.
  • Only one Texas brewery — Spoetzl Brewery — has seen a year-over-year production drop, but the Shiner-based brewery continues to have the highest sales in the state with more than 500,000 barrels of sales last year.
  • The state also saw 12 breweries close and 45 open, according to the data.

The big picture: The country’s craft beer industry grew by 8% in 2021, while the overall market grew by 1%. Texas placed two breweries among the 50 largest in the country.

  • Yes, but: Among the top 10 spots in the state by number of barrels sold, six breweries have yet to meet or surpass their 2019 sales.

Between the lines: The annual data — published for Brewers Association members in the New Brewer newspaper — is the most comprehensive breakdown of the state’s craft beer industry.

To note : Not all Texas craft brewers are represented in the rankings, as some do not submit sales and production data to the Colorado-based Brewers Association, the industry trade group.

  • Our analysis looked at the sales of breweries, brewpubs and pubs, but excluded contract brewers.
  • Also excluded are local breweries that do not meet the definition of independent.

And after: The association’s chief economist, Bart Watson, who compiled the data, told Axios’ John Frank that 2022 is producing mixed results and forecast growth is close to 4% to 5%.

  • Inflation on the cost of raw materials, especially cereals, is hurting industry. The same goes for competition from other alcoholic products, such as canned cocktails and sodas.
  • “At the brewery, sales are stronger and still growing, so that’s a positive,” Watson said during a recent industry briefing, noting a pandemic recovery point.

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