May 15, 2019

Craft beer growth slowing, while craft spirits on the rise

After years of substantial growth craft beer is only now beginning to slow down slightly, while craft spirits are passing into a phase similar in scale to craft beer’s previous decade-long expansion, according to the Craft Breweries and Distilleries Machinery and Automation Trends White Paper and accompanying infographic.

Produced by PMMI — the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies — the research notes that despite nearing its peak, craft beer continues expanding, albeit at a lesser rate. Sales volume still grew by 5% in 2017, accounting for 12.7% of the beer market by volume and 23 percent by revenue.

Craft spirits, on the other hand, continues to experience a meteoric rise growing nearly 30% and exceeding $3.7 billion in total sales. With the benefit of craft brew’s accelerated blueprint to learn from, craft distilling is expanding at a more controlled rate to avoid overextending capabilities and budgets. Seeing the number of craft brewery closures picking up — with a five-year high of 126 shuttering its doors in 2017 — craft distillers are keeping operations quaint and production goals modest.

Though craft beer and craft spirits are at different stages of growth and maturity in their respective markets, they are ultimately quite similar, with several overlapping industry challenges and needs.

PACK EXPO craft opportunities

PACK EXPO 2019 is prepared to offer solutions. The show is Sept. 23-25, 2019, at Las Vegas Convention Center.

The PMMI-produced event will provide targeted technology and innovation to address craft producer concerns around space constraints, implementing automation, changeover, outsourcing and every facet of packaging operations. Poised to convene 30,000 packaging professionals with 2,000 leading industry suppliers, the 900,000 net square feet of show floor also houses educational opportunities and industry networking lounges. The Beverage Cooler Lounge (Booth S-7632) hosted by International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT) will serve as a hub for the beverage industry allowing for casual meetings and conversations as well as free educational presentations from industry experts.

Attendees will also find educational opportunities at the Innovation Stage where exhibitors present breakthrough technologies during free 30-minute seminars, located right on the show floor, throughout the three days.

Registration, which includes access to both PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO, is $30 through Aug. 30 after which the price increases to $100. For more information, visit

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