Rise of craft beer

Posted to Maps  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

The Brewers Association just released data for 2012 on craft beer production and growth. The New Yorker mapped the data in a straightforward interactive.

As of March, the United States was home to nearly two thousand four hundred craft breweries, the small producers best known for India pale ales and other decidedly non-Budweiser-esque beers. What's more, they are rapidly colonizing what one might call the craft-beer frontier: the South, the Southwest, and, really, almost any part of the country that isn't the West or the Northeast.

Most articles and lists on craft beer tend to focus on total production and breweries, so California, a big state with a lot of people, always ends up on top. And as a Californian, I'm more than happy with my access to all the fine brews around here, but clearly, there are many more states to visit. RV trip anyone? [via @kennethfield]


  • That’s a nice interactive thingy and all, but sometimes you really just have to say, “Can I PLEASE just have a spreadsheet? PRETTY PLEASE?”

  • RV trip? I can’t even keep up with the places opening in San Diego county.
    I shoot for visiting one new brewery/week – and I’m falling behind.

  • And yet, somehow, PBR is still selling well. It’s a fine cheap beer, but certainly not considered good. What is happening? The value of beer is not completely based on taste.

    • One more thing: Did you know that 5 states still don’t allow beer to be sold that is above 6%ABV? North Carolina was one until just a few years ago, and it has done well for the brewery industry.

  • Small-batch, craft beers may be challenging big beer companies, but there’s an even greater and more uncontrollable factor that could hurt big breweries: the weather.


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