Not only did more microbreweries open than ever before in 2015, but more also grew into regional breweries. Still, the category grew an impressive 24 percent.
The spate of high-profile deals recently has had several prominent craft brewers circling the wagons and loudly and proudly declaring their independence.
The big brewers have taken off the gloves and are going directly after craft brewers—both figuratively in their marketing, and literally through acquisitions.
As total breweries surpassed 4,100 in the United States, both existing and in-planning craft beer entities will be forced to find new ways to keep themselves relevant.
Brewpubs compete with restaurants, gastropubs, and virtually any venue that offers food and drink. In 2015, the 1,645 brewpubs in operation posted 9-percent growth.
Adding packaging, ramping up outdoor spaces, and finding other creative ways to keep customers engaged have been crucial to on-premise breweries’ survival.