Craft beer in the United States is exploding. The number of breweries operating in the United States surpassed 7,000 in 2018 and that number is expected to grow by close to 1,000 in 2019 according to recent data published by the Brewers Association.
To try and learn more about the growing demand for craft beer in the United States, a market research agency named C+R Research recently did a deep analysis on the U.S. craft beer industry. The aim of the research was to determine where craft beer is most popular in the United States. They also measured the growth of craft beer and its economic impact per capita. Let’s take a look at what they found in their research.
The states that love craft beer
The research from C+R found Vermont to be the craft beer capital of the United States. This might surprise some craft beer fans who think of cities like Grand Rapids, Asheville and Denver when they think of craft beer popularity. Vermont is home to 11.5 breweries per capita, which produce 151.2 pints per adult over the age of 21. Montana came in second place with 9.6 breweries per capita, followed by Maine with 9.6 breweries per capita, Oregon with 8.5 breweries per capita and Colorado rounding out the top five craft beer states with 8.4 breweries per capita.
Breweries per capita is one interesting metric used to gauge craft beer popularity, but C+R also looked at economic impact per capita on a per state level. Colorado comes in at #1 with an economic impact of $764 per person with Vermont coming in at #2 with an economic impact of $681 per person. These numbers represent the overall output of the craft beer industry in each state based on the population over the age of 21 years old. Rounding out the top five is Oregon at $659 per person, Pennsylvania at $615 per person and Montana at $549 per person. The full list:
Brewery growth nationwide since 2007
Fans of craft beer should not be surprised at the popularity and interest in the craft beer scene in the past decade. Bust just how much it’s grown might surprise people. As of 2007 there were only 1,511 craft brewing facilities in the United States. At the end of 2018 that number has jumped to more than 7,000 and is expected to grow by over 1,000 this year, as mentioned earlier. C+R also found that over 85 percent of adults over the age of 21 currently live within 10 miles of a brewery, making it easier than ever to have access to locally made craft beer.
The states that produce the most craft beer
C+R research also analyzed where craft beer was being produced the most in the United States. Their analysis looked at the number of pints produced for every adult that’s 21 years and older broken down by state. Vermont once again was first in the analysis producing 151 pints per adult over 21. Listed below is the top ten states.
- Vermont — 151 pints per person
- Delaware — 101 pints per person
- Alaska — 96 pints per person
- Pennsylvania — 96 pints per person
- Colorado — 91 pints per person
- Oregon — 86 pints per person
- Maine — 77 pints per person
- Montana — 60 pints per person
- Wisconsin — 60 pints per person
- Minnesota — 40 pints per person
The states where craft beer has grown the most
Some states have seen way more interest in craft beer in the past few years. The research tracked where exactly the craft brewing scene has grown the most since 2015. New Jersey and Kentucky were tops on the list seeing growth of over 43 in the past 3 years. Oklahoma was not far behind at 39 percent growth followed by North Carolina 37 percent, Virginia 36 percent and New Hampshire 33 percent.
The reason for this growth varied by state. Licensing laws in New Jersey have recently become laxer, which have allowed for microbreweries to begin selling beer by the glass and by the keg. Other states changed rules regarding their brewing cap, allowing breweries in those states to produce more beer each year. What can we expect for 2019? More beer choices for more Americans and that’s something we can all raise our glasses for. Cheers!
Matt Zajechowski is a senior content strategist at Digital Third Coast. He enjoys research, surveys and craft beer in both his home state of Michigan and Chicago. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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