Food & Wine

U.S. hits record high for number of breweries

Ron Shea, the owner and brewer at R. Shea Brewing, cleans the fermentor at the brewery in Akron, Ohio.
Ron Shea, the owner and brewer at R. Shea Brewing, cleans the fermentor at the brewery in Akron, Ohio. Akron Beacon Journal

The U.S. beer industry reached a milestone this year, with a record number of breweries operating in the country.

The Brewers Association, a Boulder, Colo.-based trade group, announced last week that there are now 4,144 breweries in the United States, surpassing the historic high of 4,131 set in 1873.

And the brewery growth isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon.

The association noted that there are more than two breweries opening each day thanks in part to craft beer drinkers’ appetite for locally made beer.

It also said that 15 states now have more than 100 breweries.

The Brewers Association believes there’s plenty of room for more throughout the country.

“There are still thousands of towns currently without a brewery – but with populations potentially large enough to support one,” association Chief Economist Bart Watson said in a prepared statement.

In its announcement, the trade group also noted that India pale ales remain the top style sold by independent craft brewers, and the style is growing faster than the overall craft category.

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