Are you missing something? You are if you haven't read this post by David Preston, and the very well thought out response to it.
To summarise: There is a conflict between reports of the beer industry being in steady decline and the current buzz around the industry.
Why are these two factors at odds?
Is it an artefact of only using stats that are readily available (e.g. data from electronic point of sale tills derived from larger on- and off-trade chains)?
Is it that the growth at the micro- to middle-sized end of of the brewing industry isn't being charted?
Is anyone recording total brewery output and/or sales across the whole industry, from the majors to the boys and girls brewing in sheds?
One further point not raised by David or his lone responder: What effect on this decline does drafting in the accountants to save £6.6 million by reducing the strength of John Smiths Extra Smooth from 3.8%abv to 3.6%abv? Is that part of the solution, or part of the problem?
Your thoughts please, if you have any on this subject.