How the Craft Brew Alliance's Doug Rehberg Is Hopping Up Cider
Already boasting an outsized reputation for both craft beer and wine, the region and the states surrounding it have also developed a strong taste for hard cider. Cider producers such as Liberty, Wandering Aengus, Tieton, 2 Towns, Carlton Cyderworks are among the more than 30 members of the Northwest Cider Association that call the region home. That doesn't even include California cider works such as Ace that include the area in their broad distribution circles.
This week marks the annual Northwest Cider Week and invites a player to the table for the first time: The Craft Brew Alliance
In the context of the current cider market, the Alliance's claim is potentially substantial. According to market research firm SymphonyIRI Group, hard cider sales at supermarkets and other stores hit about $90 million for the 12 months ending Oct. 30. That's up more than 65% from a year earlier and outpaces the 5.6% growth of wine and the 13% growth of the craft beer segment in 2011, as well the 1.7% growth overall beer sales last year. SymphonyIRI's research excludes sales at liquor stores and discount stores such as Wal-Mart
Hard cider sales still get tossed into the overall beer market and account for 0.2% of of sales, according to a report by Nomura Research. It's a sixth of the 1.2% market share held by Samuel Adams brewer Boston Beer