Craft Brewing Boom: US Now Has More Than 2500 Breweries

by The Drink Nation on Jul 29, 2013 in Beer
Craft Brewing Boom: US Now Has More Than 2500 Breweries

When the Brewers Association came out with mid-year figures last year, the numbers showed more craft breweries operating in the U.S. than any time in the past 125 years. The 2012 brewery count was 2,126, an impressive figure, considering there were only 89 breweries in the country as recently as 1977.

This year’s numbers have just been released, and they are possibly even more exciting, because they show the trend has no signs of slowing down. Since last June, 446 new breweries have started slinging craft suds, and 1,605 more are listed as “in planning.” A full 98% of American brewing operations are now craft breweries, which number 2,538. BA director Paul Gatza calls the U.S. “the world’s most diverse brewing nation.”

Craft beer is not only good to drink, it’s good for the economy. Craft breweries combined to produce 7.3 million barrels in the first half of the year, causing the year-over-year volume curve to slope at a faster pace than the past five years of growth have brought. That’s produced a 14% year-over-year sales jump. To accomplish all this, craft brewers employ over 108,000 people. As Gatza says, “It’s a very good time to be an American beer lover.”

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