Craft Spirits Producers Sold More Than 13 Million Cases in 2021

NEW YORK, NY (December 6, 2022) – The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) and Park Street today presented highlights from the 2022 Craft Spirits Data Project (CSDP) at its Annual Craft Spirits Economic Briefing, which was held this morning at New York Distilling Co. The Craft Spirits Data Project, which was first introduced in 2016, is a first-of-its-kind research initiative that aims to provide a solid and reliable fact base for evaluating performance and trends in the U.S. craft spirits industry. 

The ongoing CSDP, which seeks to quantify the number, size, and impact of craft spirits producers in the U.S., is an effort led by ACSA and Park Street. 

Key findings and highlights revealed during the briefing include the following:

The U.S. craft spirits market volume reached over 13.2m 9-liter cases in retail sales in 2021, growing at an annual rate of 10.4%. In value terms, the market reached $7.5 billion in sales, growing at an annual rate of 12.2%. U.S. craft spirits market share of total U.S. spirits reached 4.9% in volume and 7.5% in value in 2021, up from 4.7% in volume and 7.1% in value in 2020. 

The number of active craft distillers in the U.S. grew by 17.4% over the last year to 2,687 as of August 2022. Active craft distillers are defined as licensed U.S. distilled spirits producers that removed 750,000 proof gallons (or 394,317 9L cases) or less from bond, market themselves as craft, are not openly controlled by a large supplier, and have no proven violation of the ACSA Code of Ethics.

Despite economic headwinds, craft producers have consistently found value in reinvesting in their businesses. On average, producers invested $337,100 in 2021 alone. This amount decreased slightly (-2%) from 2020, but the sharp uptick in craft producer count bolstered the total amount invested in the U.S. craft spirits segment by 9% year-over-year to $826 million. The primary motivation for investment listed by those surveyed was for additional production to meet demand, followed by construction to increase visitor space.

Craft distiller sales are almost evenly split between home state/tasting rooms (46.7%) and other states (53.3%) in 2021. Direct shipping remains an important and critical opportunity for continued craft distiller growth. 

Exports provided an important runway for growth in 2021. Exports of U.S. craft spirits increased by 58%, reaching 164,000 9-liter cases. 

Some states are “craftier” than others, with California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Washington leading the pack. Texas now is the third most concentrated state, having taken the fourth slot last year in 2020. Washington fell into the fifth slot, having been third in 2020. The top five states by number of craft distilleries – CA (225), NY (199), TX (173), PA (156) & WA (117) — make up 32.4% of the U.S. craft distiller universe, and the next five states — CO (112), MI (103), NC (93), OR (86), and FL (85) — comprise an additional 17.8% of the market. The remaining states represent 49.8% of the market. 

View the full 2022 Craft Spirits Data Project here.

CSDP BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY 

The Craft Spirits Data Project © 2022 is a proprietary research project whose goal is to provide a solid and reliable fact base for evaluating performance and trends in the U.S. craft spirits industry. The Craft Spirits Data Project, which was first announced and presented in 2016, is the beverage industry’s first-ever comprehensive craft distilling study. The CSDP quantifies the number, size, and impact of craft spirits producers in the United States. 

2022 data collection centered on spirits producers (DSPs) began in June, and remained ongoing through October 2022. 

The program aims to create a deeper understanding of the U.S. craft spirits landscape. The study collected comprehensive data on craft distiller production size and patterns, sources of revenue, and the category’s overall economic impact within the spirits industry.  

When estimating the number of producers behind the U.S. craft spirits production, the CSDP team relies on a combination of official data released by regulatory authorities, survey data, other industry data sources both national (e.g., NABCA, ACSA) and regional (e.g., Guilds), as well as interviews and team assessments using the craft distiller definition. 

ABOUT ACSA

The American Craft Spirits Association is the only registered nonprofit trade association representing the U.S. craft spirits industry. Its mission is to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers, and membership in ACSA is open to anyone. 

ACSA is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the eligible voting members of the Association. Voting members must be independent, licensed distillers (DSPs) annually removing fewer than 750,000 proof gallons from bond (the amount on which a Federal Excise Tax is paid.) who subscribe to ACSA’s Code of Ethics. 

ABOUT PARK STREET

Park Street delivers productivity-enhancing and cost-saving back-office solutions, advisory services, and working capital to more than 18,000 alcoholic beverage brands from around the world. Established in 2003, the company provides a fast and reliable conduit to the U.S. and E.U. markets and a cost-effective operating platform. Park Street works with suppliers at all stages of growth and its clients range from entrepreneurial craft distillers to multi-brand global platforms.

©2023 American Craft Spirits Association; All Rights Reserved. Member Owned, Industry Driven.

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