The craft brewing industry continues to grow at an astronomical rate in the U.S. The Brewers Association, the Colorado-based trade group, reports that nearly 400 new breweries opened nationwide last year and there are now 2,722 operating in the country.
That's the highest number since the 1870s, Brewers Association economist Bart Watson wrote in a blog post. The most ever recorded was 3,286 in 1870.
As if 2,722 weren't enough, he said another 1,744 breweries were in the planning stages at the end of last year.
Here's the breakdown for those 2,722:
-- 120 regional breweries.
-- 1,376 microbreweries.
-- 1,202 brewpubs.
-- 24 large breweries.
"It is interesting to note that 2013 marks the first year since 1987 that microbreweries outnumbered brewpubs in the country," Watson wrote.
More detailed numbers, including a breakdown for closings, will be released in the May/June issue of The New Brewer and at Craft Brewer’s Conference in April in Denver.