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The Craft Beer Boom: Choices Magazine Special Edition

Multi-billion dollar brewing business no longer just an American pastime

Craft beer. What started as a few brewers trying to offer an alternative to name-brand beers has turned into a global brewing boom.

Statistics from Brewers Association, a group for independent craft brewers, tell the tale of how quickly this has become more than just brewing beer in your basement.

Craft beer sales went up 6.2% in 2016. The craft beer market is now a whopping $23.5 billion, which accounts for about 20% of overall beer sales worldwide. And it’s not just Americans getting into the game; export craft brew sales went up 4.4% last year.

“Internationally, many countries are beginning to discover what we've enjoyed here in the states for a while now, a diversified commodity that offers exciting new opportunities for entrepreneurs and consumers alike,” said Michael McCullough of California Polytechnic State University.

That worldwide discovery is part of a special theme edition of Choices Magazine entitled “Global Craft Beer Renaissance” that takes an in-depth look at the following topics:

  • “The Craft Beer Revolution: An International Perspective,” by Christian Garavaglia and Johan Swinnen
  • “The Craft Brewing Industry in Latin America,” by Daniel Toro-Gonzalez
  • “Can the Craft Beer Industry Tap Into Collective Reputation,” by Michael McCullough, Joshua Berning and Marco Costanigro

“Craft Brewers are competing for market share with quality differentiation rather than just being cost efficient,” Berning said. “This occurs not only with the beer they brew, but with their breweries, their service and their connection to their communities.”

You can read each of these articles online at If you are interested in setting up an interview with any of the authors, please contact Jay Saunders in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 20 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Scheetz
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190