|Courtesy of the Brewers Association
Additionally, in 2017 the number of operating breweries in the U.S. grew 16 percent, totaling 6,372 breweries, broken down as follows: 3,812 microbreweries, 2,252 brewpubs, 202 regional craft breweries and 106 large or otherwise non-craft brewers. Small and independent breweries account for 98 percent of the breweries in operation. Throughout the year, there were 997 new brewery openings and only 165 closings— a closing rate of just 2.6 percent. Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided more than 135,000 jobs, an increase of greater than 6,000 from the previous year.
“Beer lovers want to support businesses that align with their values and are having a positive impact on their local communities and our larger society,” added Watson. “That’s what small and independent craft brewers are all about. The ability to seek beers from small and independent producers matters.”
To educate beer lovers about which beers are independently produced, the BA launched the certified independent seal in June 2017. More than 3,100 independent brewers have committed to adopting it.
Note: Numbers are preliminary. For additional insights from Bart Watson, visit “Behind the Data: 2017 Craft Brewing Growth Methodology” on the Brewers Association website. A more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Nashville, Tennessee from April 30 – May 3. The full 2017 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2018 issue of The New Brewer, highlighting regional trends and production by individual breweries.