Number of Permitted Brewers Reaches All-Time High

The Beer Institute announced new data yesterday which pegs the number of active permitted brewers at 2,751, an all-time high.

It’s the highest number of U.S. brewers ever recorded by the Beer Institute, up from 2,309 active permitted brewers in 2011.

But the number can be a bit misleading. The Beer Institute figure – as reported by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) – includes brick and mortar facilities and alternating proprietors while excluding contract brewers. It also includes brewers that may have recently shut down their brewing operations but have not yet been ‘delisted’ by the TTB.

The complete press release is below.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Beer Institute announced new data today showing that the number of active permitted brewers rose to a historic high of 2,751, as reported by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). This high water mark is up from 2,309 active permitted brewers in 2011. This is the highest number of U.S. brewers ever recorded by the Beer Institute. 

In 2012 the industry gained 442 new brewers with California gaining 31 brewers, Texas gaining 29, and Colorado, Illinois and Washington all gaining 28 each.

“This is an exciting time for beer. Today we have more breweries in the United States than ever before. New brewers are opening at a record pace, while brewers both big and small are delivering innovations in styles, flavors and packaging,” said Joe McClain, President of the Beer Institute, the trade association that represents beer brewers and importers.

“Whether it is a major brewery that supports thousands of good paying jobs or a microbrewer that is expanding, brewers help our economy by drawing on a wide range of supporting industries –farming, manufacturing, distributing and service workers who help deliver beer to the consumer. Today, there are more than 1.8 million Americans at work because of beer,” McClain said.

An economic analysis shows that brewing and importing accounts for $223.8 billion in economic output, with employees earning nearly $71.2 billion in wages and benefits, and generating more than $44 billion in tax revenues.