US craft beer sales up 18% so far in 2014

Graph: Mid-year craft beer productionThe Boulder-based Brewers Association says craft brewers sold 10 million barrels of beer in the first half of this year – up 18 percent from the half-way mark in 2013.

Some of the smallest craft breweries are seeing the biggest growth, according to Brewers Association economist Bart Watson.

"People are looking for that connection to a local product and local micro-breweries and brew pubs can be more nimble in their offerings and more nimble in how they connect with their local consumers," Bart Watson, the Brewers Association economist, said.

The trade group does not provide state by state figures for its mid-year report.

There are some 3,000 craft brewers nationwide, but Watson says America’s appetite for beer from small producers is nowhere near the saturation point.

"I think the demand for beer from small independent producers has a lot of room to grow," Watson said. "Think about how many neighborhoods could take another high-quality brewery that serves as a local brew pub or a micro tasting room."

The group does not break out state sales figures in its mid-year report.