the second consecutive year, the American Homebrewers Association
(AHA) conducted a survey of homebrew supply shops. The 2011 survey,
conducted in the spring, saw a dramatic increase in respondents—67
percent increase over 2010's survey. Across the board, the results
indicate that homebrewing is growing consistently, leading to a more
diverse demographic of homebrewers and new shops catering to local
Overall, homebrew supply shops grew 16 percent in gross revenue in
2010, which matches the previous year's growth rate and reflects a
steadily increasing demand for the ingredients and equipment needed
to brew at home. Additionally, 82 percent of shops saw an increase
in sales of beginner kits in 2010, another strong indicator of the
growing interest in the hobby.
Also of note, 43 percent of retailers indicate that the most common
age group for beginner equipment purchasers is those under 30.,
which points to homebrewing's widening demographic. AHA Director
Gary Glass explains: "Traditionally a hobby dominated by middle-aged
males, the influx of younger homebrewers bodes well for the future
of the pastime." In that same vein, on an anecdotal basis, shops
surveyed indicated that they saw the numbers of female homebrewers
gradually ticking upwards.
With growing demand for homebrew supplies and equipment, homebrew
shops are responding to the trend and benefiting from the growth. In
2010, 25 percent of shops indicated they'd been open for three years
or less, showing that many new shops are springing up to meet the
needs of homebrewers in underserved regions and towns. The AHA will
continue to conduct this survey annually to track industry trends
and to supply retailers with data relevant to their businesses.
Future surveys will incorporate suggestions from retailers on
additional data they would find useful.