USA:  Record High - Over 9,600 Active Breweries in 2023

In 2023, the number of operational craft breweries continued to rise, reaching a record high of 9,683, as revealed in the Brewers Association's annual report on the U.S. craft brewing industry released today.

This includes 2,071 microbreweries, 3,467 brewpubs, 3,900 taproom breweries, and 245 regional craft breweries. The total count of operating breweries in the U.S. reached 9,812, up from 9,730 in 2022. (, 14.12.2022) Throughout the year, 495 new breweries opened while 418 closed. Although there was a decrease in new openings for the second consecutive year, indicating a maturing market, the closure rate increased slightly, reaching approximately 4%.

Driven by the increase in breweries and a shift towards hospitality-focused business models, craft brewers directly employed 191,421 individuals in 2023, marking a 1.1% rise from 2022.

Bart Watson, the Brewers Association's Vice President of Strategy and Chief Economist, commented, "2023 posed another year of competition and challenges for small and independent brewers. Yet, despite the slowdown in growth, small brewers have shown resilience, evident in the rise in brewery numbers, relatively low closure rates, and improvements in onsite sales and employment."

Collectively, small and independent brewers produced 23.4 million barrels of beer (27.9m hl)  in 2023, a 1.0% decrease from 2022. However, craft's overall beer market share by volume increased to 13.3%, up from 13.1% in 2022, as craft's decline was less pronounced compared to the overall beer volume losses.

The overall beer market experienced a 5.1% volume decline in 2023. Retail dollar value reached an estimated USD 28.6 billion, representing a 24.5% market share and 3% growth over a comparable value in 2022. Sales growth outpaced volume decline primarily due to pricing adjustments and slightly stronger onsite sales versus distribution.

Watson added, "As always, the beverage alcohol market and consumer demands continue to evolve. Many brewers are adapting their operations to align with these changes, focusing on their business, go-to-market, and brand strategies to navigate these shifts."

Additionally, the Brewers Association released its annual list of the 50 largest brewing companies in the US in 2023, 40 were small and independent craft brewing companies according to the definition of the association..

Watson noted, "While distribution remains fiercely competitive, we continue to witness success stories and areas of growth within the top 50 list. Even in a period of slow growth, the strongest brands continue to resonate with beer enthusiasts, regardless of company size or location."

If you only look at the first 20 names on the list, it becomes apparent that in recent years, there has been continued pressure on the industry (, 10.8.2023) and a sell-off of the American craft beer movement, with many of the founders retiring and the largest companies in the industry now being sold to domestic and foreign brewery and beverage groups.


Top 20 Brewing Companies in the US (as compiled by The Brewers Association)

1          Anheuser-Busch (St. Louis/MO)
2          MolsonCoors (Chicago/IL)
3          Constellation Brands (Chicago/IL)
4          Heineken USA (White Plains/NY)
5          Pabst Brewing Co (Los Angeles/CA)
6          Diageo (Norwalk/CT)
7          D. G. Yuengling and Son (Pottsville/PA)
8          FIFCO USA (Rochester/NY)
9          Kirin-Lion Fort Collins/CO, Comstock/ MI)
10        Boston Beer Co         (Boston/ MA, Milton/DE)
11        Sierra Nevada Brewing Co (Chico/CA)
12        Sapporo-Stone Brewing        (Escondido/CA)
13        Duvel Moortgat USA (Paso Robles/ CA, Kansas City/ MO, Cooperstown, NY)
14        Gambrinus (Shiner/ TX, Berkeley/CA)
15        Mahou San Miguel (Grand Rapids/ MI, Boulder/ CO)
16        Tilray Beer Brands (Atlanta/ GA, Montauk/ NY, San Diego/ CA, Bend/ OR, Seattle/WA, Portland/ OR, Breckenridge/CO, Patchogue/ NY)
17        Artisanal Brewing Ventures Downingtown/ PA, Lakewood/ NY, Brooklyn/NY)
 18       Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn/NY)
19        Monster Brewing (Longmont/ CO, Tampa/ FL, Salt Lake City/ UT, Comstock/ MI, Dallas/TX)
20        Athletic Brewing Company (Milford/CT)

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