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Monday, August 17, 2009

The Golden Age of American Brewing?: There Are Now More U.S. Breweries Operating Than at Any Time in a Century

The Brewers Association has just reported mid-year figures on the performance of craft breweries in the U.S. and also noted a major milestone.

There are now 1,525 breweries producing beer in the United States, the highest number in 100 years. In 1910, there were 1,498 breweries as consolidation and the run up to Prohibition were factors in reducing the total brewery count across the country.

"The U.S. has more breweries than any other nation and produces a greater diversity of beer styles than anywhere else, thanks to craft brewer innovation," said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association.

The Brewers Association also reported America's small and independent craft brewers continue to do well even with the slump in the U.S. economy. Dollar sales from craft brewers during the first half of 2009 increased 9 percent, while the volume of craft brewed beer sold was up 5 percent. These numbers were off slightly from the growth reported a year earlier, but still represent health performance.

The Brewers Association estimates 4.2 million barrels of craft beer sold in the first half of 2009.

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