The New Yorker Maps the Rise of Craft Beer


The New Yorker

Here’s a shocker. Craft beer is on the rise. But, have you ever wondered how popular craft beer is in each state? If you haven’t, you can leave now. If you’re curiosity is piqued, then check out this awesome interactive map from the New Yorker.

Still with us? Good.

The map was put together by using 2012 data gathered by the Brewers Association which measures the total craft breweries per state to individual brewery growth rates. And, there were some interesting discoveries, as well as, some expected results.

It wasn’t surprising that the top five states in craft beer production were California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Ohio, and Oregon. These are regions that have a long and rich history in the world of craft beer. So, it wasn’t shocking to have them listed as the top craft beer producers in the U.S.

As for the number of breweries, California topped the list again with 316. Washington was second with 158, while Colorado, Oregon, and Michigan rounded out the top five. Again, nothing surprising. These are traditional craft beer markets.

What was interesting was the growth of craft beer in the South.

From 2011-2012 craft beer has been surging in the South. The fastest-growing producers were Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and Kentucky. As for the most rapidly growing breweries, those too were also in the South. These included Tennessee’s Blackstone Brewery, Texas’s Karbach Brewing, and Austin Beerworks.

Finally, all but two states increased their craft beer production from 2011-2012. The two states in question were North Dakota and Vermont. And, each state offers a cautionary tale. Because North Dakota is known for its onerous licensing, distribution policies and production maximums, it has been called “a dead zone for craft brewing.” As for Vermont, that’s more interesting. The state has the most craft breweries per capita of any in the country, but that may have saturated the market. Believe it or not, people can get tired of beer.

Speaking of interactive maps and beer, you should also check out Beer taxes: Why six-packs are pricier in some states from CNN Money. The map breaks down how much more you’re spending on beer depending on the varied “sin taxes” from state to state. It may make you want to plan a road trip to save a couple of bucks, or come in handy if you ever want to visit the states with the most breweries.

Source: The New Yorker

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