Although final 2019 numbers are still being compiled, it is certain that more than 8,000 American breweries operated in 2019, a record number for the United States. The continued increase in breweries meant that the market also grew more competitive, particularly in widely distributed channels. Therefore it comes to no surprise that the competitive market led to more closures, and an estimated 300 breweries will have closed in 2019.
Brewery growth has driven tremendous job growth as well. The BA’s Economic Impact Report, a biennial analysis featuring economic data of craft brewing for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, showed that craft brewers contributed $79.1 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018, a 4% increase from 2017. Craft brewers were responsible for more than 550,000 full-time equivalent jobs, an 11% increase from 2017, with 150,000 of those jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs.
“Small and independent breweries continue to be essential contributors to communities across the country, finding new ways to innovate and thrive amid evolving consumer preference and a competitive and maturing beverage market,” said Julia Herz, craft beer program director, Brewers Association. “It’s been an exciting year for both brewers and beer lovers alike and we look forward to celebrating new beerworthy moments in 2020.”