Although there is still a large market for mass-produced beer,the public is clearly showing an appreciation for smaller,specialty brews produced by craft breweries. According to theBrewers Association, a craft brewer in the United States issmall, independent and traditional, and the majority of Americanslive within 10 miles of a craft brewer.

A recent reportfrom Alltech found that there are more than 10,000 craft breweriesworldwide, as shown in the following chart. You might guess Germany, with its reputation forproducing beer and its well-known Oktoberfest,would be at the top of the list. But the industry leader, however,is much closer to home: It’s the United States with 4,000 craftbreweries at last count.

This growth may present opportunities for independent insuranceagents. Brewers are usually small businesses, and they have similarissues to many other small businesses. They have property,employees, delivery trucks, supply chain concerns, and businesscontinuity issues. They also have to meet local ordinancesregarding alcohol consumption, especially if the brewery offerstours and tastings. There are product liability and intellectualproperty issues as well. It’s all about risk management, and agentshave many ways to help breweries manage that risk. Cheers!

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Rosalie Donlon

Rosalie Donlon is the editor in chief of ALM's insurance and tax publications, including NU Property & Casualty magazine and NU You can contact her at [email protected].