We’ve finally done it — demand for U.S. craft beer has continued to grow, so much that the number of breweries in America has surpassed its previous high of 2,011, notched back in 1887. (A non-prohibition low of 89 was hit relatively recently, in the 1970s, as macro beer companies consolidated into conglomerates.) According to a new report from trade group the Brewers Association, there are now 2,126 operating breweries in our nation, providing an estimated 104,000 full- and part-time jobs.
There are no signs the boom is slowing. Around 1,250 small- or mid-sized breweries are currently in planning stages, up from 725 being planned just a year ago. Why enter a market with so many contenders? Craft beer sales account for only 5% of the total U.S. beer market (which is a greater percentage than ever before), and as drinkers continue to become more educated about different styles of brew, we — and all these hopeful brewers — think this share will continue to grow. Raise a glass of real beer to that!
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