The Rise in Craft Brewing
If it seems like more and more varieties of beer have been appearing at your local grocery store, it’s not your imagination: small craft breweries are proliferating across the country, now accounting for 1 out of every 10 beers sold in the US. In 2015, there were 4,824 reporting brewery facilities in the US, an increase of 14.5% from 2014. What’s more, these craft breweries are beginning to overtake their larger competitors: since 2009, more than 7% of the market has shifted from large brewers and importers to smaller brewers, and in 2014, the craft brewing industry contributed $55.7 billion to the US economy.
Smaller breweries might also have an edge when it comes to supply chain management. Many craft breweries source ingredients locally and distribute their finished product within reasonable trucking distances, keeping their operations smaller and more efficient.
As these startup breweries continue to grow, large breweries have opted for more sustainable brewing practices in an effort to remain competitive with local craft brewers and appeal to consumers (while saving costs). This is good news for beer aficionados: with every pour just a bit greener, you can continue to enjoy a steady (and guilt-free!) supply of suds.