U.S. Brewery Count Now Exceeds 2,700

The Brewers Association announced today that the number of breweries in the United States now exceeds 2,700. Remarkably, the official number at the end of 2013 was 2,722, marking an increase of almost 400 breweries since the end of 2012.

Here in Washington, the growth-rate is equally spectacular. The Washington Beer Blog was founded in 2008. Since that time, the number of breweries in Washington has more than doubled. More than 100 breweries have opened in the past five years. No matter how you count it, there are more than 200 breweries in Washington today. The official number from the Washington State Liquor Control Board is closer to 250, but some of the those breweries have not yet begun to brew or never have brewed. (Just because you have a license, that doesn’t mean you’re a brewery.) The number is a bit nebulous and it is always a moving target with new breweries opening all the time, occasionally in silence.

In the coming days I will do some work, make some phone calls, and determine a more realistic number. For now, suffice it to say that of the nation’s 2,722 breweries, nearly 10 percent are in Washington. Remarkable.

Here is the story as published on the Brewers Association’s blog.

At the end of 2013, the number of breweries in the United States reached the highest level seen in the country since the early 1870s. At the end of December, the Brewers Association counted 2,722 brewing facilities in the US, an increase of almost 400 from the end of 2012. This brewery count is the number of breweries in operation at the turn of 2014. The number of operating breweries for the calendar year will be somewhat higher to account for breweries that operated for some of the year, but closed during 2013. The operating breweries figure will be released later this winter.

These breweries broke down as follows (for more on these definitions see market segments):

Regional breweries: 120

Microbreweries: 1376

Brewpubs: 1202

Large breweries: 24

Total: 2,722

98% of these breweries were small and independent craft breweries. It is interesting to note that 2013 marks the first year since 1987 that microbreweries outnumbered brewpubs in the country.

The total of 2,722 brewing facilities is the highest count since the US in around 140 years, more than when the country celebrated her centennial birthday. In 1876, the Register of United States Breweries lists 2,685 breweries. It is not however, the highest number of all-time, as the Register lists 3,286 in 1870.

Continue reading on the Brewers Association blog