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Increase in Craft Beer Helps Turn Industry Around

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Brewers can finally toast to good sales this year, after a mid-year report published by the Brewer’s Association cited a 14-percent growth in beer sales.

The organization represents 1,400 U.S. breweries, or about 70 percent of the industry.

Craft beer also experienced a spike in sales -- six million barrels this year, a 12-percent increase in volume.

“India pale ales, seasonal beers, Belgian-inspired ales and a range of specialty beers are just a few of the beer styles that are growing rapidly,” said Brewers Association director Paul Gatza in a statement.

Craft brewers, 97 percent of brewers in the U.S., are “small, independent and traditional.”

American breweries are experiencing a surge, reaching a 125-year high of 2,126 breweries over the last year.  An additional 1,252 breweries are in the planning stages.

The beer industry’s sales decline over the past four years can be blamed on the recession, according to The Washington Post.  Key consumers, blue-collar males in their 20s, were deeply affected by the economic downturn.

Liquor and wine sales weren’t as affected.  Liquor sales rose by four percent in 2011 and wine sales increased their store volume by four percent this year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio