Dec. 2, the Brewers Association announced that as of the end of November the U.S. had reached an all-time high of 4,144 breweries, topping the historic high of 4,131 breweries in 1873.
“This is a remarkable achievement, and it’s just the beginning,” said Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association. “Beer has always been a hallmark of this country and it is even more apparent today as America’s beer culture continues to expand.”
The report didn’t say how many breweries are currently in planning, but there were 1,755 in July. Brewery openings now exceed 2 per day on average.
Also of note, India pale ales (IPAs) remain the top style sold by independent craft brewers, and the IPA segment continues to grow faster than the overall craft category.
“Craft breweries are a part of their communities, operating in neighborhoods and towns, returning us to a localized beer culture,” added Watson. “There are still thousands of towns currently without a brewery—but with populations potentially large enough to support one. With beer lovers continuing to desire more full-flavored, innovative options from small and independent local breweries, ample opportunities exist for well-differentiated, high-quality entrants in the marketplace.”
And in other beer news …
Just days ago, a Canadian named Lewis Kent set a new beer mile world record and he won the 2015 FloTrack Beer Mile World Championship. Amazingly, he did it in just 4:47, which is much better than most people can do without drinking beer between laps.
A beer mile is a timed race combining running and beer chugging. Typically, the race takes place on a standard 400-meter or 1/4-mile track. The race begins with the consumption of a 12-ounce beer, then the participant chugs a beer before each additional lap. Typically, light beers are consumed, but I think barleywines would make it more interesting.
Also earlier this week, masked gunmen robbed Ballast Point’s tasting room in San Diego. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
As you may recall, just weeks ago Ballast Point was sold to Constellation for a whopping $1 billion. So it begs the question, did these robbers actually believe all that money was at the brewery’s tasting room?