The Year in Beer: U.S. Brewery Count Reaches All-Time High of 4,144

2015 Craft Beer in Review from the Brewers Association Reveals
Historic Number of Breweries in U.S.; Most Since 1800s

BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The total number of U.S. breweries reached a record level in 2015,
according to a year-end review from the Brewers
—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small
and independent
American brewers. As of the end of November, there
are now 4,144 breweries in the country, 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, 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.”

Of note in 2015:

  • Brewery openings now exceed two a day.
  • Fifteen states are now home to more than 100 breweries:
    California, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Michigan, New York,
    Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North
    Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana.
  • IPA remained the top style sold by independent craft brewers, and
    continues to grow faster than the overall craft category.
  • Data shows that “locally made” is important to over half of
    craft beer buyers.
  • Similarly, knowing that the beer is made by a small and independent
    is important to a majority of craft drinkers in their
    purchase decision.

“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.”

interactive timeline of U.S. breweries 1873-2015

Note: Figures are a compilation of data provided by the Brewers
Association, IRI Group and Nielsen. The Brewers Association will release
a comprehensive annual analysis of craft brewer production in March of

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association
dedicated to small
and independent
American brewers, their beers and the community of
brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than
70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99
percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including
the World
Beer CupSM
American Beer Festival®
Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®
An American Craft Beer & Food Experience
National Homebrewers Conference
, National
Homebrew Competition
 and American
Craft Beer Week
®. The BA publishes The
New Brewer
magazine and its Brewers
 division is the largest publisher of contemporary and
relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft
beer at and
about homebrewing via the BA’s American
Homebrewers Association
. Follow us on Twitter.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not
discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender,
religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or
marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive
Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the
Secretary of Labor.


On behalf of the Brewers Association
Abby Berman,