Gatza: New Breweries Open at More Than One-Per-Day Pace in 2012

Paul Gatza, Brewers Association

More than one new brewery sprouted per day in 2012, according to a blog post by Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association. As of Jan. 11, the post tallied 2,336 operating U.S. breweries. That’s an increase of 387 breweries from the 2011 year-end count of 1,949.

Gatza also noted that, according to the B.A., there are currently 1,254 breweries in planning and 1,650 breweries that are B.A. members (up almost 300 breweries and 22 percent from the year before).

The Beer Institute announced in December the number of active permitted brewers at 2,751, an all-time high. However the number can be misleading. The figure, which is reported by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), excludes contract brewers and includes brick-and-mortar facilities, alternating proprietors and brewers that may have recently shut down but had not yet delisted by the TTB.

By market segment, Gatza wrote that there are 24 breweries that are part of the two large brewers, 109 regional brewing companies, 1,084 microbreweries and 1,119 brewpubs.

He concluded by noting that the final numbers included in the Beer Industry Production Survey, which will be presented at the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 27 and in the May/June issue of The New Brewer, will be different because they will also include companies that closed during the year and other new information on openings and closings that he could find in the meantime.

The Brewers Association plans to publish a press release in March highlighting craft beer’s impressive growth in 2012. The organization will also release its annual “Top 50” list of both U.S. breweries and craft breweries in April. That list will be published in the May/June issue of The New Brewer alongside 2012 barrel production figures.