Colorado craft beer needs no introduction. While the beer category as a whole has seen better days, the craft segment is booming, rich in variety and continually showing healthy pockets of YoY growth. In fact, some might say Colorado is synonymous with craft beer. Ever take a little walk down Larimer Street? (It's on our beer bucket list, too).
Today we're tappin' into our data from 2019 and taking a look at over 150 million servings of alcohol. Our goal? To inform bartenders, beverage buyers and everyone in between of Colorado's top breweries, trends to look out for and all the products you're going to want to have behind your bar.
Beer share may be on the decline, but that doesn’t paint the whole picture. At least not when it comes to craft. Large brewery share likely accounted for this decline, as the segment took a -25% dip in YoY growth, ending the year holding just 6% of total beer share.
Taking a look at Colorado craft beer as a whole, the segment is growing 13% YoY.
Driving this growth? Regional and local craft are on the up and up. Both saw healthy YoY acceleration. In fact, regional craft held the most share for the second year in a row— and it's still growing! The segment ended the year with 36.34% market share, a 19% increase when compared to 2018.
Local craft took the number two spot, ending the year out with 15.08% share, a 6.27% jump up from the year prior.
Now let’s take a look at how local breweries fared over the past year. In the lead for most market share? Dry Dock Brewing Company. The craft brewery held the top spot for the second year in a row with 16.95% share.
The number two spot goes to Ratio Beerworks. Not only did they have a great year, but they were also the fastest growing brewery in the Colorado-metro area. In 2018, the small but mighty brewery held just 2.86% share. 2019 was a completely different story. Ratio grew 430%, ending the year out with 15.13% of market share. Congrats Ratio!
As far as local craft goes, Colorado bar managers and beverage buyers were more apt to purchase craft IPA’s. Similar to the beer segment as a whole, craft style IPA’s are also on the decline. The style saw a 4% dip in market share by years end, holding 21.30% compared to last year’s 22.09%.
The fastest growing craft beer style? Kolsch. Crisp, delicate and oh-so-drinkable, the German-style beer saw a 98% growth, ending 2019 accounting for 10.12% share of the craft beer segment.
Finally we take a look at the craft beer segment by product type. The number one spot goes to Dry Dock’s Apricot Blonde Ale. The misty golden blonde beer held 10.50% market share—the most of any local craft brewery.
Coming in second place? Denver Beer Co.'s Princess Yum Yum. The ruby-colored kolsch accounted for 8.58% share. Not to mention, it was the fastest growing local craft beer in 2019. Growing 139%, it shared the spotlight with the number two fastest grower—Denver Beer Co.'s Graham Cracker Porter.
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