The Key Craft Beer Market Segments

A microbrewery is defined as any facility where 15,000 barrels of beer or fewer is produced every year. 75% of the microbrewery output must be served off-site. The unofficial use of the word “microbrewery” refers to any small business that brews craft beer or other beverages, such as mead or cider.

A nanobrewery is commonly an even smaller brewery setup than a microbrewery. There is no defined production volume nominally accepted for a nanobrewery output, but it’s generally acknowledged that it’s possible to run a nanobrewery single-handedly with only one brewer. Depending in which U.S. state you reside in, both microbreweries and nanobreweries are permitted to sell via the traditional methods.

There is an official definition for an independently owned brewery that produces less than 6 million barrels of beer annually, Craft Brewery. However, even this market segment is categorized according to annual beer output capacity and which percentage of beer or beverages are sold on-site.

From small to large, here are the categories of craft breweries:




Regional craft breweries

Regional breweries (maximum output under 6 million barrels a year)    Between 15,000 to 6M barrels per year

Large commercial breweries – over 6 million barrels every year.