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Harpoon Brewery in Today’s Boston Herald

February 23, 2009

Craft beer companies enjoy steady sales despite bad economy
Brewing up business

By Donna Goodison / Herald Highlight: Beer
Monday, February 23, 2009

Daniel Kenary, president/co-founder of Harpoon Brewery (Photo by Stuart Cahill)

Americans may be cutting back their expenses to weather the turbulent economy, but they’re still drinking their craft beer.

As most other business segments contend with negative growth, craft beer makers – small, independent and traditional brewers that produce less than 2 million barrels per year – are enjoying slowed but still-strong sales increases and outperforming the beer industry as a whole.

While craft brewers have seen slowdowns in the volume of their beer consumed at restaurants and bars, business has picked up at the packies as more people spend their free time at home to save money.

Massachusetts-based brewers such as Boston Beer Co., Harpoon Brewery and Cisco Brewers say they’re also benefiting from consumers trading down to their brews from more expensive wines and liquor.

“In boom times, we might be envying our friends in financial services, but they’re now envying us,” said Dan Kenary, cofounder and president of Harpoon Brewery in Boston. “Beer is a staple. You might not be able to go out and spend $75 on dinner, but you can go out and spend $8 or $9 on a six-pack.”

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