For our 67th Session, our host, Derrick Peterman, who writes Ramblings of a Beer Runner, has chosen a topic that requires you to take out your crystal ball and gaze five years into the future and make some beery predictions. Among many other unknown questions about what the future of the brewing industry holds, predict How Many Breweries [There Will Be] in 2017?. Here’s how to think about your immediate future (at least as far forward as Friday, September 7, when this next Session will take place):
There’s been much cheering and fanfare reverberating throughout the brewing community about the latest brewery numbers recently released from the Brewer’s Association, who counted exactly 2,126 breweries in the United States. To put that into context, you have to go way back to 1887 when the United States had that many breweries. It’s an astonishing 47% increase from just five years ago in 2007 when the tally was a mere 1,449, despite the United States slowly recovering from a serious recession over this period. And according to the Brewers Association, another whopping 1,252 breweries are in the planning stages.
Where is it all going? The growth shows no sign of stopping and the biggest problem most breweries have is that they can’t brew beer fast enough. But can the market really absorb all these new breweries? Are we headed for a cataclysmic brewing bubble where legions of brewers, their big dreams busted, are left to contemplate selling insurance? Or is brewing reaching a critical mass, only to explode even more intensely in a thermo-nuclear frenzy of fermentation?
Now you have a chance to weigh in on these questions. For this month’s Session, tell us how many breweries the Brewer’s Association will count five years from now in 2017, and why you think it will be that number.
So grab your crystal beer glasses, and start peering into them, or better yet start pouring something into them. Then start predicting.
Hopefully, you’ll have figured it all out and you can say with unwavering certainty where we’ll be in five years by Friday, September 7. And here’s one more more incentive, from this Session’s host. “If five years from now your prediction is the most accurate one, in addition to enjoying beer blogger bragging rights, I will personally buy you a beer.” So you’d have that going for you … which is nice.