For Immediate Release
Contact: Greg Koch, CEO, Stone Brewing Co.
(760) 471-4999 x102 or

Stone Brewing Co. Jumps 31 Percent in 2004
as Craft Beer Industry Sales Grow 7 Percent
Craft Beer Now the Fastest Growing Segment of Beverage Alcohol Industry

San Marcos, San Diego County, CA --- America's craft brewers sold 7.0 percent more beer in 2004 versus 2003 making craft beer the fastest growing segment of the US beverage alcohol industry, according to the Brewers Association, the Boulder, CO-based trade association for small brewers in the US.

And for as many years as the 8 1/2 year old company has been in existence, the Stone Brewing Co. has beaten that number. Quite handily. In fact, Stone Brewing has been one of the fastest growing breweries in the United States, averaging greater than 57% in annual barrelage growth each year since the brewery's beginning in 1996.

The Craft Brewing segment has grown every single year over the last 25 years, however in some years it has been outpaced by other segments of the beverage alcohol industry. "Across the country craft beer volume growth outpaced that of imports, large brewers, wine and spirits in 2004," said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association.

The Brewers Association estimates 2004 sales by craft brewers at 7,023,651 31-gallon barrels up from 6,563,461 barrels in 2003, an increase of 460,190 barrels or 6.34 million case-equivalents. Spirits volume increased at 3.1 percent for the year(1) and wine volume was up 2.7 percent(2). The import and mass-market segments of the beer industry rose approximately 1.4 percent and 0.5 percent respectively in 2004.

The craft beer segment includes more than 1400 breweries that produce primarily all-malt beers. It includes brewpubs (brewery/restaurant), microbreweries (less than 15,000 barrels per year) and regional specialty brewers such as San Diego County's Stone Brewing Co. The Brewers Association has tabulated industry growth data for these breweries annually since 1985.

"The craft beer segment continues to show healthy and steady growth with many individual brewers enjoying double-digit volume increases," said Charlie Papazian, President of the Brewers Association. "This year the craft segment sold more new barrels of beer than the much larger import segment of the beer market."

According to US Department of Commerce figures, sales of imported beer in the US increased by just 1.4% or 4.6 million cases in 2004. Even though craft beer accounts for just 3.2 percent of the beer marketplace versus more than 11 percent share for imports, craft beer sales in 2004 increased by 6.34 million cases—1.78 million more new cases compared to imports.

"Craft beer sales increased faster than imports for the second year in a row," said Gatza. "This reverses the trend seen between 1996 and 2002 when imports grew at a faster rate."

"While the growth of the Stone Brewing Co. has outpaced...well, nearly everyone and everything...the growth of the craft brewing segment as a whole benefits everyone," said Greg Koch, CEO of Stone Brewing. "It's great to live in a society that can clearly appreciate the finer things in life. The finest of which can nearly always be complimented by a great craft brew."

For further information on the craft beer industry and these estimates, contact Paul Gatza (x122) or Ray Daniels (x125) at 303-447-0816.

Based in Boulder, Colo., U.S.A., the Brewers Association (BA) is a not-for-profit trade and educational association for small and craft brewers. The Brewers Association was established in 2005 by a merger of the Association of Brewers and the Brewers' Association of America. Visit the website: <> to learn more. The Brewers Association has an additional membership division of 9,000+ homebrewers: American Homebrewers Association.

The association's activities include events and publishing: World Beer Cup®; Great American Beer Festival®; NBWA/BREWERS Joint Legislative Conference, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®; National Homebrewers Conference; National Homebrew Competition; American Beer Month (July); Zymurgy magazine; The New Brewer magazine; and books on beer and brewing.

[1] According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).

[2] According to Information Resources Inc.