The State of Alabama Beer

Here are the latest statistics, compiled by the Alabama Brewers Guild, regarding the growing craft beer industry in Alabama.

The State of Alabama Beer
6 February 2013
Annual Industry Survey
Our trade organization is one year old – thank you for being an early adopter and believing in the industry!

The Alabama Brewers Guild has completed its first annual survey of the Alabama brewing industry. We had 94% participation from our members, and we are confident that the statistics generated represent an accurate snapshot of the state of the brewing industry at the end of 2012.

The Alabama Brewers Guild was only able to obtain this information under a strict privacy agreement. Please do not ask for more specific information as we are contractually prohibited from providing it.

The Early Numbers
Production and Employment

  • 2012 Total Production: 19,301 barrels (up 118% from 2011)
    • Cans: 23%
    • Bottles: 16%
    • Draft: 61%
  • Direct Employment, End of Year: 85 jobs (up 204% from 2011)


    • 2012 On-Site Sales: 11% (includes brewpubs and tap rooms)
    • 2012 Distributor Sales: 89%
  • 2012 Out-Of-State Sales: 12%
  • 2012 Sales in Alabama: 88%

Operating Licensees as of 31 December 2012
Note: This includes organizations not participating in the survey

  • Production Breweries: 8
  • Brewpubs: 2
  • Contract Brewers: 2
Brief Initial Analysis
Due to overwhelming public support, the craft brewing industry in Alabama has flourished in an otherwise stagnant economy. Since 2007, Alabama has welcomed ten newly licensed brewing facilities statewide. Together, our members are projecting another year of triple-digit growth in 2013.  This expansion will come from existing breweries growing to meet their demand and from a host of planned breweries and brewpubs expecting to open in 2013.

As we grow, expect to see the share of cans and bottles increase. Many of our members began packaging in large-format bottles after they were legalized statewide in 2012. Our partners in the wholesale industry supported that legislation and we project increased delivery of packaged beer in 2013.

On-site sales were a small fraction of the total sales in 2012, and we project that that will decrease even further in 2013. Tap rooms are a critical component to a successful microbrewery startup – especially in a crowded market. These areas are essential in fostering the relationship between brewers and their community.  In addition to overwhelming local support, on-site tasting rooms often serve as a prominent tourist attraction for the areas in which they operate. However, you can only sell so much beer at a single tap room. As its popularity increases, a brewery will sell more and more of its beer out the door.

Brewpubs, of course, are a different model and expect to sell most of their beer on-site. However, these businesses can sell their beer to distributors and many of the existing and planned brewpubs among our membership expect to distribute soon after opening.

In Conclusion, the state of the Alabama Brewing industry is strong and expanding in dynamic fashion. In 2013 the Alabama Brewers Guild will continue its focus on educating consumers and supporting the local breweries of this State. We look forward to working together with all of our wholesale, retail and consumer partners in the State to overcome any challenges that may arise during these exciting times for beer in Alabama.

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Copyright © 2012 Alabama Brewers Guild.
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