The mid year 2013 data was released this week by the the Brewers Association highlighted some incredible growth by small and independent craft brewers from their press release.
- Approximately 7.3 million barrels of beer were sold by small and independent craft brewers, up from 6.4 million barrels over the first half of 2012.
- There are 2,538 breweries operating in the U.S. as of June 30, 2013, an increase of 446 breweries since June 2012.
- 1,605 breweries in planning at the year's midpoint, compared to 1,252 a year ago.
- Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 108,440 full-time and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.
"Beer drinkers nationwide are responding positively to high-quality, full-flavored, diverse offerings from American craft brewing companies that continue to innovate and push the envelope." said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association
"More breweries are currently operating in the U.S. than at any time since the 1870s," Gatza added. "It's a very good time to be an American beer lover."
I couldn't agree more. I always remember my grandfather telling me about the "good old days" when he was growing up in Milwaukee, and how each tavern had their own brew. All were different, but really good beer. As I was growing up I was jealous while stuck drinking mass produced beer from his home city. Now I wonder what he would think of this renaissance of the American beer industry.