'

Craft beer growth will continue in the U.S.

Craft beer will continue to grow in popularity, but the industry isn't without its challenges.

While beer has lost its place as the beverage of choice in the United States, craft beer is continuing its steady growth.

A new report from IBIS World says that the craft beer industry -- which includes microbreweries that brew less than 6 million barrels of beer per year and brewpubs that make beer for consumption onsite -- will grow at an annualized rate of 7.2 percent from 2013-2018. By 2018, revenue will reach $5.6 billion, up from $3.9 billion in 2013.

But even as the industry's popularity continues, its growth rate over the next five years will be lower than the previous five years, which averaged an annualized growth rate of 10.9 percent. That decreased rate will come from larger breweries rebranding to compete with the popularity of craft beer and those same companies buying up their smaller competitors, according to the report.

Still, one of the biggest sources of growth over the next five years will be exports to countries "relatively untapped by craft breweries," including neighboring Canada. Export growth is expected to be around 35 percent each year for the next five years.

Photo: Flickr/djwtwo

Related on SmartPlanet:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com