THE CRAFT

The ultimate resource for alcohol beverage news, trends and reports for bars, distributors and suppliers.

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. 

Especially in Georgia. Breweries are popping up throughout the state, serving up great beers and serving as gathering places for communities. To Georgians, craft beer is akin to liquid gold. Nough' said.

Today we’ll be taking a look at our data from 2019, consisting of over 150 million servings of alcohol, to highlight the Georgia's most popular breweries, trends to watch and products you'll need to stock at your bar.

Craft Beer by Segment


Previously we looked at market share by product type and saw that beer has been on a continued deceleration over the past several years. That doesn’t paint the entire picture, however. At least not in Georgia. 

While beer shares may be droppin’, craft beer is poppin’. From 2018 to 2019, market share of craft beer by segment showed considerable growth for all but large breweries, whose share dropped 8.63% from last year.

Atlanta Craft beer rose 15% YoY, from 14.05% to 16.19%. Taking a look at regional craft share, we see a 10% YoY growth.

 


Which Atlanta Craft Breweries Are on Top?

2019 was a great year to be a craft beer brand in Georgia. Breweries like SweetWater and Creature Comforts had an exceptionally good year. 

Sweetwater, which has been around since 1997, ended 2019 holding 26.51% share of the total craft beer segment. In fact, the brewery was Atlanta’s most favored craft beer brand for the second year in a row.

Creature Comforts, out of Athens, Georgia, holds the number 2 spot, knocking Scofflaw Brewing down to third place. The artisanal brewery grew a whopping 66% YoY, from 12.19% to 20.28% by 2019’s end. 

Taking the top spot for fastest growing brewery? Three Taverns. The Artisanal brewery ended 2019 holding 2.72% share, a 253% growth compared to 2018’s 1.07% share.

 

 

 

Most Popular Craft Beer Styles in Atlanta

IPA’s have Atlanta sayin’ IP-YAY. This year the beer style grew 2%, and was one of the fastest growing beer styles in Georgia. 

Taking second place for the second year in a row is American Pale Ales. Last year the style held 26.19% share of the craft beer style segment. In 2019, it dipped 10% to 23.63%. 

Honorable mention goes to Sour Ales. The beer style peaked in 2019, showing growth in the double  digits. It ended 2019 holding 2.52% share, which was a 84% increase from 2018’s 1.37%. For those unfamiliar, sour beers are characterized by their intentionally acidic, tart or sour taste.

 


Top 10 Craft Beer Products from Atlanta Breweries in 2019

Finally we break down Atlanta’s top 20 craft beer products from 2019. Sweetwater holds many spots on this list, including number one. Sweetwater 420 is unsurprisingly the craft brand’s most popular brew, and the numbers only support this. It ended 2019 with 19.53% market share, which is actually a 15% dip from the year prior. 

Creature Comforts Tropicalia IPA takes the number two spot. In 2019 the soft and juicy IPA held 16.20% share, a 50% jump from 2018’s 10.82%. The popular IPA was one of the fastest growing craft products of 2019!

Another thing to note, 6 of the top 20 beers had an ABV of 6.5 or higher. Depending on what you consider “high ABV”, it’s safe to assume stronger beers were the style of choice in 2019.

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