World: Global number of craft breweries increases to 17,732

The worldwide number of breweries has increased to more than 19,000 in 2016 according to a study of Alltech and Brewers Journal carried out in 209 countries and territories. The growth is mainly due to the rising number of craft breweries, which represent already 94% of all breweries in the world. More than one quarter (4,750) of all 17,732 craft breweries worldwide can be found in the United States, where craft brewing in a modern sense started in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter allowed home brewing for the first time since Prohibition.

The other countries with a larger number of craft breweries are the UK (1,655), Germany (1,295), Italy (942), Spain (664), France (662), Canada (612), Netherlands (434), Switzerland (419) and Australia (410).

In order to be classified as a craft brewery in these statistics, the brewery must have fewer than 30 staff, a production of less than 5,000 hectoliters (4,261 barrels) and more than 50% of the brewery must be privately owned. This varies significantly from the definition of the American Brewers Association (BA). The BA defines a craft brewery to have an “annual production of 6 million barrels (7.04m hl) of beer or less”, ”less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer” and that the brewery has “a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation.”

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