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
Large breweries: 24
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.
In addition to the 2,722 brewing facilities, there were an additional 1,744 breweries in planning at the end of December, the highest year-end number in the BA database.
Look for a more detailed recording of US brewing facility numbers, including a breakdown of openings and closings for 2013 in the upcoming May/June of issue of The New Brewer, as well as on-stage at April’s Craft Brewer’s Conference in Denver!