new brewery openings

Washington leads the nation in new brewery openings

I promise, I’m going to blow your mind. You are not going to believe this.

About a month ago I posted a story about the state of craft beer (read it). It was based on the preliminary reports from 2014. On the heels of last week’s Craft Brewers Conference, and the big State of the Industry presentation by the Brewers Association, I have more information to share. One stat in particular is mind-blowing.

Last year Washington saw more craft breweries open than any other state: 83 new breweries opened in Washington during 2014. BOOM! Read that again slowly. (Washington had 83, New York 67, California 59, Colorado 55, and so on.) Not that I don’t trust the Brewers Association’s numbers, but I’ll get to work on a list of the most recent brewery openings in Washington and keep you posted. I’m a bit flummoxed by the number 83.

Craft Beer Growth

Admittedly, I’m a bit more of a geek about this kind of stuff than many people, but to me this is like reading the box score after a big Mariners victory. In 2014, we won in terms of new brewery openings.

By year’s end there were 3,418 total craft breweries in the USA, comprised of 1,871 microbreweries, 1,412 brewpubs, and 135 regional breweries. Last year 615 new breweries opened and 46 closed. There are currently 2,051 breweries in planning.

Craft beer grew by 18 percent last year. Overall beer sales grew by just 0.5 percent. The trend represents a consistent increase in growth per year, from about 12 percent in 2010 up to 18 percent in 2014. Not only is craft beer growing each year, the rate at which it is growing is growing at a consistent rate.

Craft breweries sold 22.2 million barrels last year. Currently, America’s craft breweries have a potential capacity of 34.6 million barrels, so there’s room for growth right now. And, of course, most breweries are working to expand capacity.

Last year U.S. craft beer exports grew by a remarkable 36 percent. We exported 383,442 barrels last year.

It’s About the IPA

India Pale Ale represented 22.7 market share when compared “by style.” (Seasonal Beers 16.8, Pale Ale 10.6, and so on). IPA also saw 46.9 percent volume growth.

Craft beer grew on all fronts, but nothing grew more than session beers. As we reported previously, the Session IPA grew a remarkable 323 percent last year.

As we previously reported, craft beer reach 11 percent market share of the overall beer market, and 19.3 percent in terms of dollar share. Good beer costs more.

Craft beer was responsible for 115, 469 brewing industry jobs last year – 64,068 full time, 51,401 part time.










  1. 83 is not accurate of actual breweries that opened their doors in 2014. maybe applied for licensure or something like that. The NY number also seems not accurate.

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