…and the U.S. craft beer segment continues to rise in market share, as cited by the Brewers Association’s recently released industry sales figures from 2008.

But the shift to more fully flavored, locally produced beers doesn’t come without its challenges. According to the group, smaller microbreweries and brewpubs continue to face hurdles such as:

  • Access to ingredients and raw materials
  • Increased pricing for materials and supplies
  • Access to market (competition for shelf space at the retail level)

The cost of operating a small brewery also increased more than 39 percent in the period of November 2007 to November 2008, according to the industry tracking firm.  

So while it’s getting tougher to be a smaller brewer, it seems the hard work is paying off, at least when taken as a whole. Take that BudMillerCoors.