More than two breweries are opening each day in the US, with the total number of US breweries reaching a record high of 4,144 last month, topping the historic level of 4,131 breweries in 1873, according to the Brewers Association.

“This is a remarkable achievement, and it’s just the beginning,” said Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson.

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


Of note in 2015:

  • 15 states are now home to more than 100 breweries: California, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana.
  • IPA remained the top style sold by independent craft brewers and continues to grow faster than the overall craft category.
  • Data shows that ‘locally made’ is important to more than half of craft beer buyers.
  • Similarly, 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,” added Watson.

“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.”

For an interactive timeline of US breweries from 1873-2015, click here.

For a breakdown on how the beer industry looked in 1873 versus 2015, check out the graphic below.

Brewers Association
Graphic courtesy of the Brewers Association


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