The Rise of Craft Beer

When we started this blog about three years ago, we came in at the pinnacle of the craft beer boom. There were so many breweries to try and so many new beers to taste and for a solid year and a half we had a great run at reviewing everything and anything. Then we hit this wall where the selections of beers we had available to us were the same as the previous years (well the good ones anyway). That was roughly around the same time you heard about breweries closing and as in my state, breweries that never managed to open their doors. That’s when I thought the industry might be headed for a decline and that the once golden age of the craft beer revolution, was finally starting to teeter out. During this seeming decline in the industry, there have been a significant number of breweries expanding operations to different states contradicting the burst in the craft beer bubble. Where is the industry headed and has the growth leveled out or is it actually greater than ever?


The Beer Institute released a report based off a study on the rise of breweries since 1862 which chronicles the increase and decline of breweries in the United States. According to this study, the industry continues to grow at a remarkable rate and 2013 had the highest number of active permitted breweries ever in the United Stated. “There’s a story in these numbers. Beer is constantly evolving in the U.S., with more small brewers than ever before, more brands being introduced by national brewers and growing interest in imports,” said Chris Thorne, vice president of communications at the Beer Institute. This data seems to fall inline with the reports of breweries looking to capitalize on the expansion and growth of the industry.

Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and Green Flash are expanding to second locations on the East Coast, which rides the trend in the growth of the industry. With news of expansion there are multiple reports of beer being sold out the same day of its release. Cigar City’s Hunahpu’s day sold out of beer in 30 minutes which demonstrates that breweries are not only expanding based off of seemingly high-demand but the consumers are demanding the beer as well.

It looks like the landscape of craft beer is ever growing and we have yet to reach the summit of it’s potential. Hopefully for all of us here and across the country, we will continue to see the rise of craft beer and one day see it’s total domination of the beer market, making our jobs easier and your palates happier.

Cheers folks!

For the original findings of the Beer Institute study please visit:

Sierra Nevada North Carolina Brewery:
New Belgium North Carolina Brewery:
Green Flash Virgina Brewery:

The Beer Institute:
Cigar City: