Craft Spirits Producers Sold More than 14 Million Cases in 2023 Economic Study, with $7.9 Billion in Sales

Despite Economic Headwinds, Distillery Growth, Export Growth, and Volume Growth Hold Steady  

Washington, DC (January 17, 2024) – The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) and Park Street today presented highlights from the 2023 Craft Spirits Data Project (CSDP) at its Annual Craft Spirits Economic Briefing. Margie A.S. Lehrman (CEO, ACSA), Gina Holman (President, ACSA and Founding Partner, J. Carver Distillery), and Emily Pennington (Senior Manager, Park Street) shared key sales data and insights from the 2022 calendar year. The Craft Spirits Data Project, 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 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:

1. U.S. craft spirits market volume reached 14m 9-liter cases in retail sales, growing at an annual rate of 6.1%. In value terms, the market reached $7.9 billion in sales, growing at an annual rate of 5.3%. While there was still growth in 2022, it has slowed considerably from 2021, where craft spirits volume grew by 10.4% and value by 12.2%. U.S. craft spirits market share of total U.S. spirits maintained a 4.9% share in volume and increased value share to 7.7% in 2022, up from 7.5% in 2021.

2. The number of active craft distillers in the U.S. grew by 2.4% over the last year to 2,753 as of August 2023. Similarly, growth slowed from the year prior, which reported an increase by 17.4%. 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.

3. Despite strong economic challenges, craft producers have consistently found value in reinvesting in their businesses. The total amount invested in the U.S. craft spirits segment increased by 6.5% year-over-year to $880 million. Employment numbers within the U.S. craft market also continued to increase post-pandemic, with 27,368 full-time domestic employees.

4. Home states still represent a critical sales opportunity. Craft spirits sales remain almost evenly split between the home state (47.4%) and other states (52.6%) in 2022.

5. While export growth was slower (up by 58% in 2021), they provided a continued and important runway for growth in 2022, up by 4.3% to 171,000 9L cases and surpassing pre-pandemic heights of 155,000 9L cases in 2019. However, the category is still recovering from the long-term export implications from tariffs and have not reached pre-tariff levels seen in 2017 at 566,000 9L cases.

6. The American South has the highest concentration of craft distilleries, surpassing the West which has typically had higher numbers. Some states are “craftier” than others, with California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Washington leading the pack. Texas remains 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 (245), NY (210), TX (163), PA (117) & WA (156) — make up 32.4% of the U.S. craft distiller universe, and the next five states — CO (114), MI (114), NC (104), FL (91), and OR (86) — comprise an additional 18.5% of the market. The remaining states represent 49.1% of the market.

View the full 2023 Craft Spirits Data Project here.

CSDP BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY

The Craft Spirits Data Project © 2023 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 Project quantifies the number, size, and impact of craft spirits producers in the United States.

Together, ACSA and Park Street launched the Craft Spirits Data Project in October, 2015. 2023 data collection began in January, 2023 and remained ongoing through August, 2023.  The Project collected data primarily from spirits producers (DSPs), distributors and retailers.

The program aims to create a deeper understanding of the U.S. craft spirits landscape among three key groups: DSPs, distributors and retailers.  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.  The Project also collected data on craft spirits business size, patterns and outlook on the distributor level and assessed craft spirits business size and outlook by premise type at retail. 

When estimating the number of producers behind the U.S. craft spirits production, the project 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 national non-profit 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

Launched in 2003 by former McKinsey consultants, Park Street is a technology-enabled services company that helps emerging and established alcoholic beverage suppliers and brand owners cost-effectively and securely scale and manage their businesses. 

Areas of expertise include regulatory compliance, freight and logistics, importing and distribution, order fulfillment, accounting, HR and benefits management, working capital, information and data management, systems development, systems integration, and more.  The company is trusted by thousands of brands from new-to-market entrepreneurs to well established multi-brand global suppliers.  Park Street is headquartered in Miami, Florida and has over 400 team members supporting operations across the United States and around the world.

©2024 American Craft Spirits Association; All Rights Reserved. Member Owned, Industry Driven.

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