Craft brewers are continuing to slowly win the hearts and minds of beer drinkers in the U.S., one triple-hopped pint at a time.  

The latest mid-year numbers from the Brewers Association in Colorado — the craft beer industry’s trade and education association — were fairly encouraging, with both sales and barrel volume seeing single digit growth so far this year. Compared against the same period in 2008, those metrics dipped ever so slightly. However, in this economy, I’d read the relative stability of those numbers as somewhat of a victory.

They don’t break out mid-year numbers by state, so no specific info on Minnesota, but a few other highlights:

  • The number of U.S. breweries is the highest in 100 years because of small and independent  craft brewers.
  • America’s small and independent craft brewers are still growing despite many challenges and are continuing to provide jobs to the U.S. economy.
  • Dollar growth from craft brewers during the first half of 2009 increased 9%, down from 11% growth during the same period in 2008.
  • Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 5% for the first six months in 2009, compared to 6.5% growth in the first half of 2008.
  • Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year is an estimated 4.2 million, compared to 4 million barrels sold in the first half of 2008.

 Read the full release here.