At the midpoint of 2018, small and independent brewery growth in the United States is holding stable according to the Brewers Association.
As of June 30th, there were 6,655 active breweries in the U.S., up from 5,562 in the same time frame in 2017. Production volume has increased craft industry-wide by 5%.
There are 2,500 to 3,000 breweries currently in planning.
According to Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association, 2018 is on pace to have the highest number of openings and closings to date.
“The data demonstrate that 2018 is on pace to have the highest number of brewery openings and closings to date. However, even as breweries close, openings continue to far outpace the number that shutter. New players looking to enter the space should be aware of the constructs of the current landscape, work to differentiate themselves and will need to make quality beer to succeed.” – Bart Watson
In a special appearance in front of the Georgia Craft Brewer’s Guild in early July, Watson expects the U.S. brewery count to break 7,000 before the end of 2018.