Competition led sales to fall at one of the US's first craft breweries. What's next for the UK's craft beer market?

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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Popularity Of Craft Beers Continues To Grow
The Society of Independent Brewers says there is still "plenty of room" for new craft breweries in the market (Source: Getty)

A major craft brewery in the United States reported sales were down as new craft beers crowd the market, but microbrewers in the UK shouldn’t worry, according to the Society of Independent Brewers.

D.L. Geary Brewing Co., founded in 1983, was the first craft brewer in Portland, Maine, helping start the craft beer trend take off in the US and then the UK.

Geary's grew with the increased popularity of craft brew, expanding its product line and spreading distribution to more states in the New England area as more craft breweries hit the scene.

Read more: Craft beer and premium pubs are a hit: Marston's investment set to pay off

But recently Geary's has decreased its beer production, despite craft breweries producing 113.8 per cent more beer in 2015 than in 2011, according to the Brewers Association, a national craft beer organisation in the US.

Neil Walker, a spokesperson for SIBA said brewers on this side of the pond shouldn't worry as there is still "plenty of space" in the market.

Read more: Brewing up a storm: Sales in craft beer soar 130 per cent

“Demand for quality beer made by independent craft brewers has never been higher in the UK, with huge growth in the sector as consumers seek out interesting beers with real flavour,” Walker said.

There are now more than 1,500 independent brewers in the UK, according to SIBA, which was established in 1980.

The number of craft breweries shot up 65 per cent since 2010.

Read more: Number of craft breweries surges eight per cent

Walker said while the market for independently brewed craft beer is growing in the UK, the volumes produced are a fraction of what large global brewers make.

Global brewers are increasingly looking to enter the craft beer market by buying smaller brewers or creating their own versions craft beers, he added.

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