The question pops up every so often: How many breweries are there in Ohio? The answer is a definitive 251.

Or thereabouts.

Or at least as of the morning of July 27.

Let me explain.

The Ohio Division of Liquor Control had issued 299 active A1 and A1C brewing permits as of that date. But there arenít 299 breweries in the Buckeye State. (The A1C licenses represent smaller craft breweries, while Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors and Boston Beer Co. hold the only three A1 permits in Ohio.)

Some places, such as Granite City in Maumee and Lyndhurst, donít actually brew on premise but they hold permits. Some, such as Buckeye Brewing Co. in Cleveland and Sugar Ridge Brewery in Bowling Green, have closed but are still listed as having a license.

And others, such as Fat Headís Brewery, BrewDog USA and Platform Beer Co., hold multiple licenses. Do you count Fat Headís ó which has locations in Canton, Middleburg Heights and North Olmsted ó three separate times or just once? I choose to count them as one brewery (as in the brand). If you're interested in counting them separately, well ... that's a different discussion that significantly impacts the final tally.

But for now, let's just say there are 251 breweries that call Ohio home -- a remarkable figure considering there were a total of 49 breweries here at the beginning of 2012. That's a 412 percent increase in less than seven years.

Given the fact that there are about 50 breweries in planning or with licenses pending before the state, there's no slowdown in sight.