After years of substantial growth craft beer is only now beginning to slow down slightly, while craft spirits are passing into a phase similar in scale to craft beer’s previous decade-long expansion, according to the Craft Breweries and Distilleries Machinery and Automation Trends White Paper and accompanying infographic

Produced by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the research notes that despite nearing its peak, craft beer continues expanding, albeit at a lesser rate. Sales volume still grew by 5 percent in 2017, accounting for 12.7 percent of the beer market by volume and 23 percent by revenue. 

Craft spirits, on the other hand, continues to experience a meteoric rise growing nearly 30 percent and exceeding $3.7 billion in total sales. With the benefit of craft brew’s accelerated blueprint to learn from, craft distilling is expanding at a more controlled rate to avoid overextending capabilities and budgets. Seeing the number of craft brewery closures picking up—with a five year high of 126 shuttering its doors in 2017—craft distillers are keeping operations quaint and production goals modest.

Though craft beer and craft spirits are at different stages of growth and maturity in their respective markets, they are ultimately quite similar, with several overlapping industry challenges and needs.

To address these challenges, no event in 2019 is better prepared to offer solutions as completely as PACK EXPO Las Vegas and the co-located Healthcare Packaging EXPO (Sept. 23-25, 2019; Las Vegas Convention Center).

The PMMI-produced event will provide targeted technology and innovation to address craft producer concerns around space constraints, implementing automation, changeover, outsourcing and every facet of packaging operations. Poised to convene 30,000 packaging professionals with 2,000 leading industry suppliers, the 900,000 net square feet of show floor also houses educational opportunities and industry networking lounges. The Beverage Cooler Lounge (Booth S-7632) hosted by International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT) will serve as a hub for the beverage industry allowing for casual meetings and conversations as well as free educational presentations from industry experts.

Attendees will also find educational opportunities at the Innovation Stage where exhibitors present breakthrough technologies during free 30-minute seminars, located right on the show floor, throughout the three days.

After successful debuts at other events in the PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows, The Forum will be unveiled at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, bringing an interactive learning experience, featuring free 45-minute sessions on the latest industry trends and will include hands-on activities, small group discussions and Q&A sessions.

Registration, which includes access to both PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO, is $30 through Aug. 30 after which the price increases to $100. For more information and to register online, visit and