The Greatest Trend I’ve Seen All Year: Most U.S. Breweries Since 1870s!

Eric Garland Energy Trends 2 Comments

beerYou want a positive trend, America? I got one! The number of operating breweries in the United States is at its highest in 140 years!

From the Brewers Association:

At the end of 2013, the number of breweries in the United States reached the highest level seen in the country since the early 1870s.  At the end of December, the Brewers Association counted 2,722 brewing facilities in the US, an increase of almost 400 from the end of 2012.  This brewery count is the number of breweries in operation at the turn of 2014. The number of operating breweries for the calendar year will be somewhat higher to account for breweries that operated for some of the year, but closed during 2013. The operating breweries figure will be released later this winter.

These breweries broke down as follows (for more on these definitions see market segments):

Regional breweries: 120
Microbreweries: 1376
Brewpubs: 1202
Large breweries: 24

Total: 2,722

98% of these breweries were small and independent craft breweries.  It is interesting to note that 2013 marks the first year since 1987 that microbreweries outnumbered brewpubs in the country.

The total of 2,722 brewing facilities is the highest count since the US in around 140 years, more than when the country celebrated her centennial birthday.  In 1876, the Register of United States Breweries lists 2,685 breweries.  It is not however, the highest number of all-time, as the Register lists 3,286 in 1870.

And guess what? Local craft brewing is also associated with the economic revitalization of communities. This is nothing but positive all around.