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In Keeping With the Holiday Spirit: Import and Export Data on Breweries and Wineries

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The holiday season is approaching and many celebrations from the traditional Thanksgiving Day football games to holiday office parties are sure to feature two items: beer and wine.

How many U.S. breweries and wineries produce these beverages? How much do they sell? What countries are the biggest importers and exporters of beer and wine?

U.S. Census Bureau data on U.S. manufacturing and foreign trade provide a profile of the beer and wine industries.

Data on the U.S. beer and wine industries are available from several surveys: County Business Patterns (CBP), Annual Business Survey (ABS) and the Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM). 

In 2017, wineries outnumbered breweries but that changed at the same time the craft beer movement picked up steam. And in 2020, there were 370 more breweries than wineries. 

The methodologies for each program/survey differ. The ASM and CBP look at establishments and the ABS focuses on employer firms. Details are available at their webpages (County Business Patterns Methodology, Annual Business Survey Methodology, Annual Survey of Manufactures Methodology).

More Breweries and Wineries

According to the data, the number of breweries and wineries in the United States increased every year from 2017 to 2020. In 2017, wineries outnumbered breweries but that changed at the same time the craft beer movement picked up steam. And in 2020, there were 370 more breweries than wineries.

County Business Patterns shows there were 4,493 breweries in the United States in 2020, up from 4,317 in 2019, 3,884 in 2018, and 3,305 in 2017.

The number of wineries also grew: 4,123 in 2020, up from 4,079 in 2019, 3,881 in 2018, and 3,708 in 2017.

Interested in knowing more about who owns beer manufacturing operations? The Annual Business Survey provides key demographic information by geography (national and state), race/ethnicity and veteran status

For example, of the 3,102 U.S. breweries with paid employees in 2020, 95 were minority-owned and 43 of those were Asian-owned.

According to the ABS, there were 3,801 U.S. wineries with paid employees in 2020 – 188 owned by a minority. Additionally, 271 wineries were owned by veterans. 

Beer and Wineries Manufacturing

Our exploration of the beer and wine business wouldn’t be complete without reviewing data from the Annual Survey of Manufactures. This sample survey provides detailed manufacturing statistics at the state and national levels for businesses with one or more paid employees.

The ASM shows that breweries sales declined from 2018 to 2020. The estimated total sales in 2020 were $27.1 billion, down from $30.8 billion in 2018.

But the estimated annual payroll increased to $3.4 billion in 2020, up from $3.2 billion in 2018.

In 2020, the estimated number of people employed in the U.S. breweries industry was 67,247, not statistically different from 69,574 in 2018.

The ASM shows that estimated total wineries sales went from $20.7 billion in 2018 to $19.8 billion in 2020; the estimated number of paid employees was 49,950 in 2018 and 48,469 in 2020; and estimated annual payroll was $2.8 billion in 2018 and $2.9 billion in 2020.

Imports/Exports of Beer and Wine

The country we import the most beer from is Mexico, both by value ($4.9 billion) and volume (3.5 billion liters) (Table 1), according to USA Trade Online. But Chile was the top recipient of U.S. beer exports in 2021 by value ($125 million) and volume (93 million liters) (Table 2).

When it comes to wine, the United States imported the most wine (by volume) from Italy (385.5 million liters) and France by value ($2.5 billion) (Table 3). On the export side, the United States sent the most wine to the United Kingdom by volume (118 million liters) and to Canada by value ($506 million) (Table 4).

Adam Grundy is a supervisory statistician in the Census Bureau’s Customer Liaison and Marketing Services Office.

Jane Callen is the senior writer/editor in the Census Bureau’s Communications Directorate.


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Page Last Revised - November 21, 2022
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