The Beer Institute recently announced a new, much higher, total number of breweries operating in the U.S. using a different method of calculation. While the Brewers Association looks at each company to count the number of breweries, the Beer Institute took a different approach. They instead looked at each individual working brewery, so while before a company with two separate breweries would be counted as one brewery, the new total sees two working breweries and counts each one. Using that method, there are nearly 3,700 licensed brewers making beer for thirsty Americans. In 2013, 948 new permits were issued to companies opening breweries, increasing the total number by nearly one-quarter. The majority of the new breweries opened last year were brewpubs.
The breakdown by state reveals that, no surprise, California has more breweries than any other state, by a wide margin. The next closest state, Washington, has half as many breweries. In fact, just four states — California, Washington, Colorado and Oregon — accounts for one-third of all breweries in the United States.”
“We have tracked the industry since our preceding trade association was first founded in 1862, and there’s a story in these numbers. Beer is constantly evolving in the U.S., with more small brewers than ever before, more brands being introduced by national brewers and growing interest in imports,” said Chris Thorne, vice president of communications at the Beer Institute.
“There was a long period of consolidation in the industry, but during that same period, beer became the most popular drink in America. Today we’re seeing more small brewers than ever before. But consumers are also increasingly less loyal to beer, and that is a challenge for every brewer of any size,” Thorne added.