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US breweries reach record high

By editorial assistant Sandi Toxic

Posted December 02, 2015
US breweries reach record high
Something to celebrate: US breweries opening at two a day. © BA

US brewery numbers surpass historic high of 1873, latest BA stats reveal.

There are now more breweries in the US than at any time since "the historic high" of 1873, the US Brewers Association (BA) reports.

According to the Association's year-end review (announced to today (2/12/15)), the end of November saw some 4,144 breweries operating in the States compared to 4,131 in 1873.

"This is a remarkable achievement and it's just the beginning," says BA chief economist Bart Watson in a press release.

"Beer has always been a hallmark of this country and it is even more apparent today as America's beer culture continues to expand."

Taking things further, the press release reveals that 2015 has so far seen an average of two new breweries coming onstream every single day.

Moreover, 15 states "are now home to more than 100 breweries", viz California, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Indiana.

In terms of tipples, IPA "remained the top style sold by independent craft brewers and continues to grow faster than the overall craft category".

Meanwhile, data1 amassed by the BA also shows that 'locally made' brews are "important to over half of craft beer buyers".

Likewise, "knowing that the beer is made by a small and independent brewery is important to a majority of craft drinkers in their purchase decision".

"Craft breweries are a part of their communities, operating in neighbourhoods and towns, returning us to a localised beer culture," Watson states.

"There are still thousands of towns currently without a brewery – but with populations potentially large enough to support one."

"With beer lovers continuing to desire more full-flavored, innovative options from small and independent local breweries, ample opportunities exist for well-differentiated, high-quality entrants in the marketplace."

Well, I'll just grab my hat then.

In the meantime, why not check out the BA's interactive timeline of US breweries (1873-2015) by having a click of this?

Go on.

You know you want to.

See also Drinking in a winter wonderland, posted 11/11/15.

Sandi Toxic
was raised by wolves inside a disused clay pit near Lanjeth. You can befriend her on FaceBook here. She is still quite feral.


1) The above figures, the press release notes, are "a compilation of data" provided by the BA, the IRI Group and Nielsen. Meanwhile, the BA says it "will release a comprehensive annual analysis of craft brewer production" this coming March. And to see exactly what the Association means by the term 'craft brewer', have a click of this.

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