Craft Brewers Say People Really Like Craft Brews. Especially Canadian People.

Beer-drinkers across the globe are growing ever more thirsty for American craft brews, and more craft breweries are opening as a result, according to two not-remotely-unbiased reports from a craft-brew trade group.

On Monday, the Brewers Association, which represents small and independent crafter brewers, released 2012 U.S. market growth information. You could pretty much count on it painting a rosy portrait of the market, both because of its bias and because of anecdotal evidence of the industry's growth. But it does lend some insight into how the market is evolving.

According to the report, in 2012 the overall national beer market grew by only one percent. But "craft brewers saw a 15 percent rise in volume and a 17 percent increase in dollar growth, representing a total barrel increase of almost 1.8 million."

The report also found that 2012 saw an 18-percent increase in the number of breweries, for a total of 2,403, with 2,347 of those being craft breweries.

In another report , the association found that in 2012 craft beer export volume increased 72 percent over 2011, with an estimated value of almost $50 million. Below is a map showing where exactly US craft beer is going.

Exports to Canada increased 140 percent by volume and Sweden and the UK are the next two largest markets. Exports to Japan rose 57 percent.

Most of this export effort is supported through the Export Development Program, which began in 2004 with federal funds from the USDA Market Access Program that, according to a press release, "generates exposure for American craft beer through trade shows, festivals, seminars, media outreach and competitions, among other activities."

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