As June 2017 draws to a close, the operating brewery count has hit 5,562. That’s an increase of 906 breweries during the same time period last year according to the Brewers Association.
Bart Watson, chief economist for the not-for-profit trade association states the growth pace for small and independent brewers have stabilized, but at a rate that still reflects progress in a more mature beer market.
The beer world is highly competitive and there is certainly a mixed bag in terms of performance. Some breweries are continuing to grow, whereas others are having to evolve their position and nurture new opportunities to ensure they keep pace. Many brewers are benefiting from on-premises and taproom sales, and recent state-based reforms have the potential to help brewers in new regions capitalize on this growth.”
Basically, don’t judge the overall growth of the beer market based solely on openings and closings. While there are 2,739 breweries in planning, many of the curret 5,000 are growing in maturing in other ways, especially in states that have amended laws to favor brewery growth.
An example of this can be found in the state of Georgia. The state will finally allow tap room sales for the first time, which will have a positive financial impact on the state’s small and independent brewers.
Those breweries meeting the Brewers Association’s definition of small/independent/craft contribute an estimated 128,768 full and part-time jobs – a number that continues to grow.