US hits record high for number of breweries

Ron Shea, the owner and brewer at R. Shea Brewing, cleans the fermentor at the brewery Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 in Akron, Ohio. (Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal/TNS)

Credit: Karen Schiely

caption arrowCaption
Ron Shea, the owner and brewer at R. Shea Brewing, cleans the fermentor at the brewery Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 in Akron, Ohio. (Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal/TNS)

Credit: Karen Schiely

Credit: Karen Schiely

The U.S. beer industry reached a milestone this year, with a record
number of breweries operating in the country.
The Brewers Association, a Boulder, Colo.-based trade group, 
announced last week that there are now 4,144 breweries in the United 
States, surpassing the historic high of 4,131 set in 1873.
And the brewery growth isn't expected to slow down anytime soon.
The association noted that there are more than two breweries opening 
each day thanks in part to craft beer drinkers' appetite for locally made 
beer.
It also said that 15 states now have more than 100 breweries.
The Brewers Association believes there's plenty of room for more 
throughout the country.
"There are still thousands of towns currently without a brewery — but 
with populations potentially large enough to support one," association 
Chief Economist Bart Watson said in a prepared statement.
In its announcement, the trade group also noted that India pale ales 
remain the top style sold by independent craft brewers, and the style is 
growing faster than the overall craft category.