It’s counter-intuitive to say the least. People usually spend less money in slow economic times and craft beer is typically more expensive than the national brand alternatives. So we’d expect people to switch to lower priced brands, right? But spending less doesn’t always mean buying less expensive beer.
We’re well into thesecond year of a sluggish economy and craft beer sales are looking great while the rest of the beer industry struggles. In fact, 2009 saw an increase of 7.2% in the sales of craft beer while the overall beer industry struggled with a 2.2% decline according to the Craft Brewers Association.
Clearly, the economy has not yet hurt the craft beer category, but is the down economy actually helping the sales of craft beer?
The US economy continued to decline from 2008 to 2009 in a variety of measurements including the growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP), one of the key measurements of economic productivity. Craft beer sales, already healthy coming into 2008, grew even faster in 2009. From 2005 to 2009 the US GDP declined in growth rate each year while craft beer sales continued to rise.