The pandemic slump didn’t seem to permanently alter the craft spirits industry — in fact, distillers across the United States emerged in 2021 with favorable growth.

Craft spirits distillers enjoyed a record-breaking year across multiple sectors during 2021, according to the new data from the Dec. 2022 Craft Spirits Data Project. The research, compiled by the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) and Park Street, was included in a Dec. 6 press release from ACSA. For the purposes of this year’s report, ACSA conducted data collection from June 2022 to Oct. 2022.

Total sales in 2021 surpassed $7.5 billion, reaching an annual growth rate of 12.2 percent. The market volume also hit 13.2 million nine-liter cases, a record for craft distilleries. As of Aug. 2022, the number of active producers also rose by 17.4 percent to reach 2,687.

Exports fostered growth in sales and production — U.S. craft spirit exports increased by 58 percent, with total volume reaching 164,000 nine-liter cases.

Several larger states lead in the number of craft distilleries: California (225), New York (199), Texas (173), Pennsylvania (156), and Washington (117). These five states make up 32.4 percent of the total craft distillery industry in the United States. From 2020-2021, Texas leaped from the no. 5 spot to no. 3, while Washington fell from no. 3 in the nation to no. 5.

While most emerging news proved positive, the amount that individual producers invested in craft spirits declined slightly (by two percent, or $337,100). However, considering the recent increase in the number of craft distilleries, total industry investments rose by nine percent year-over-year ($826 million).

For craft distillers across the United States, the future is looking bright.

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