Craft brewers and craft beer drinkers are participating in nothing short of a revolution. The number of craft brewers has gone from eight in 1980, to 537 in 1994, to over 6,000 in 2018. There has never been a better time or place to drink craft beer than in the U.S. right now.
Here are some toastable craft beer facts:
- The Brewer’s Association defines an American craft brewer as a small, independent, and traditional producer of beer. Craft brewers must have an annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less. Only less than 25 percent of the craft brewery can be owned or controlled by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. The majority of the brewers total beverage alcohol volume must be in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation.
- More than 6,000 breweries operated in the United States in 2017.
- The majority of Americans (83% of ages 21+) live within 10 miles of a craft brewery. Use the Brewery Finder to find a craft brewery near you.
- Craft brewers tend to be very involved in their communities through philanthropy, beer donations, volunteerism and sponsorships. Craft brewers donated an estimated $73.4 million to charitable causes in 2016.
- Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Barack Obama have all brewed beer in their homes while serving in office.
- After Germany, the United States is the second-largest hop producer in the world.
- Cascade is the favored hop varietal among craft brewers.
- There are currently an estimated 1.1 million homebrewers in the U.S.
- Hops are poisonous to pets so keep a sharp eye on your pellets if you are homebrewing.
Craft breweries taut better ingredients, greater health benefits, sustainable brewing, and support of the local economy. That sounds like a win to me! Turn all your friends on to the benefits of craft beer and bring them to the dark side with these tips. Cheers!