As if flavor wasn’t a sufficient indicator, the Wall Street Journal confirmed last week that craft breweries are doing a hell of a lot better than macro breweries. While total beer sale volumes fell 2.2% in 2009 – the highest rate since the 1950s – “[t]he small-batch ‘craft’ beer industry continued to represent an industry bright spot, with the biggest among the craft brewers, Boston Beer Co., showing a 1.7% increase.” (But, is Boston Beer Company still a craft brewery? Maybe not.)
Although 2009′s numbers seem to show that craft beer is recession proof, the jury is still out as to whether craft beer’s rise – as compared to macro beer – is a trend that will continue once the economy picks up (as it seems to be doing). Only time will tell.