The U.S. craft beer industry continues to explode. The Brewers Association released figures Monday showing that craft beer production has increased 18 percent so far this year.
Craft brewers produced 10.6 million barrels of beer from January through June, up from 9 million in the first half of last year.
“Everybody is trying to figure out how to make more beer,” he said. “Even when we think we’re caught up, we’re not. That seems to be the general consensus.”
The craft statistics now include brewers such as D.G. Yuengling & Son and Straub Brewery thanks to the association redefining the term “craft brewer.” The Boulder, Colo.-based association examined the volume of those brewers now falling under the new definition to deliver an apples-to-apples production comparison.
The group also noted that there were 3,040 breweries operating in the U.S. at the end of June. That’s 502 more than the same period last year.
Ohio is mirroring the rest of the country, Bean said. The state is seeing many new breweries open and established operations such as Columbus, Great Lakes, Rhinegeist, Thirsty Dog and Christian Moerlein are among those adding capacity to keep up with demand, he noted.
The growth is likely to continue nationwide, as the association says there are 1,929 breweries in planning stages now. The group estimates that craft brewers employ 110,273 full-time and part-time workers.
“Coupled with the continued rise in the number of breweries, the market growth of craft brewers highlights the ongoing localization of beer production in the United States,” association chief economist Bart Watson said in a prepared statement. “More and more, people are enjoying the products from America’s small and independent brewers, making this country a true destination for beer.”