Although a study from the United States (by Kendall College Hospitality Student), this information is becoming very relevant in parts of SE Asia that are seeing the craft beer culture emerge.
The past few years have been good to fans of craft beer. As microbrews have gained popularity, more and more labels and flavors have found their way to grocery store shelves and bars. Some popular craft beers, such as Goose Island and Shock Top, have been bought out by Anheuser-Busch, but for the most part, craft beers are remaining independent and maintaining their own distinct tastes.
As of 2012, there were 2,403 microbreweries across the US. According to the Brewers Association, that’s the most breweries that have been in operation since the 1880s! Just as each region has unique food, each region now has craft beers that they can claim as their own—Brooklyn Brewery on the East coast, Kalamazoo in the Midwest, New Belgium in the Rockies, and Sierra Nevada in the west. The thousands of small craft breweries out there give us something to get excited about and take regional pride in, as they experiment with new flavors and roll out seasonal beers. All those breweries also give us the opportunity to discover new beers on a regular basis.
Another part of the reason microbreweries have taken off is because craft beer is a social experience for many people. Small breweries offer tours so craft beer fans can see how their beverages are made, and many breweries also have tasting rooms or pubs where locals can gather. Craft beers are frequently available at restaurants, giving people the opportunity to pair beers with complementary food. Some craft breweries are even starting to sell their beer in cans as well as bottles, so that people can take it with them to certain outdoor places like campgrounds and tennis courts that may not allow glass bottles.
The best news for people who love craft beer is that the industry is projected to keep on growing—while 36% of consumers already drink craft beer, 45% say they’re interested in branching out to craft beers. And when there’s more of a demand, there will also be more of a supply. Let’s drink to that.
For even more statistics on the growth of the craft beer industry, check out the infographic from Kendall College below.