Craft beer sales continue to skyrocket. The Brewers Association, the Boulder, Colo.-based trade group, reported this week that dollar sales climbed 14 percent in the first half of this year and the volume of craft beer sold jumped 12 percent.
The association estimated that craft brewers sold 6 million barrels over that time and now employ 104,000 full-time and part-time workers.
“Generally, most craft brewers are continuing to see strong growth in production, sales, brewing capacity and employment, which is to be celebrated during challenged times for many of today’s small businesses,” association Director Paul Gatza said in a prepared statement. "Plus it’s a fact that beer drinkers are responding to the quality and diversity created by small American brewing companies. India pale ales, seasonal beers, Belgian-inspired ales and a range of specialty beers are just a few of the beer styles that are growing rapidly.”
There are now 2,126 breweries in the U.S. -- the highest number in 125 years. The country also has seen 350 breweries open since June 2011. The association also said there are at least 1,252 breweries in the planning stages to open. Ohio, obviously, is contributing to that total. There are more than 30 breweries in the Buckeye State that have either opened within the last six months or have announced plans to open.
“Beer-passionate Americans are opening breweries at a rate faster than at any time since the day Prohibition ended for the beverage of moderation,” Gatza said. “There is nearly a new brewery opening for every day of the year, benefiting beer lovers and communities in every area across the country.”
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