The American craft beer revolution marches on. From an all-time low of 44 in the late 1970s, the nation is now dotted with some 2,130 breweries changing the way we drink beer every day. Portland, Oregon, with its abundant real estate, low-ish brewers’ taxes, and access to pristine raw materials from hardy hops to high mountain water leads the way with over fifty breweries in the Rose City (the state has 153 operated by 120 companies overall). Vermont leads the way per capita, with a busy brewery for every 26,073 people. And according to figures recently released by the Brewers Association, over 1,300 breweries are in-planning across the U.S., which will send our total well north of 3,000, most in the world. Thirsty yet?
Almost no matter how you look at it, this craft beer revolution is a good thing: according the Brewers Association, it helps generate jobs (over 100,000 so far) and economic activity (an estimated $3 billion annually in California alone, according to a recent study by the California Craft Brewers Association), and most importantly, the beautiful experience of better beer made by humans, not robots. We’ve heard a few curmudgeons mutter aloud about whether or not there are “too many breweries”. To those killjoys we pose a simple question: has anyone ever complained about “too many wineries”? (There are over 7,000 by the way.) How about, “too many kittens”? We’ll reserve the innovative, locally-made—and most of all, delicious—creations of craft beer America for cheerier company.
What’s your favorite? Tell us below.