Top 5 States for Brewery Openings is 2012: the Rich Get Richer


Another interesting nugget to come out of the Brewers Association “State of Craft Beer” press conference was data on the states that saw the greatest number of brewery openings in 2012.  If I were to guess, I’d say it would be states where craft beer is just catching on.  I’d be wrong. 


Instead, 2012 saw growth in states that already have many, many breweries.  This makes sense once you realize that brewers are trained in breweries, so the states with the most breweries produce the most brewers, some of whom decide to start their own place close to home where they have connections and a support system.  Not to mention, these are states where there’s an eager and established audience for their wares, so it makes sense for new brewers to fish where the people drink like fishes.

The only outlier here seems to be Texas, which appears to be in the midst of a mini craft beer boom all their own.

Couldn’t be New Jersey, huh?  Just my luck…



Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Beer, News


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

Join the Madness

Like beer? Like whiskey? Like goofing off? Follow Us!

26 Comments on “Top 5 States for Brewery Openings is 2012: the Rich Get Richer”

  1. March 28, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    Didn’t Texas lift some arbitrary limitations on ABV for certain beers? Also, Texas is huge. I’m surprised Missouri isn’t ranked as many, many breweries have opened in the last year and continue to do so.

    • March 28, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      The Texas Senate just passsed a bill onto the House that eases restraints on breweries being able to sell beer by the pint on premise, so if that makes it to the Governor’s desk, I’m sure that’ll keep the party going. And yes, Texas is the second most-populated state in the union with about 26+ million people, second only to California.

  2. March 28, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    You’re partially right about the reason for brewery growth here in Colorado, many of the new breweries have been started by former employees of other local breweries. The educated and discerning craft beer drinkers are just the tip of the ‘beerburg’, I think it’s more of a cultural thing. Many of the new breweries are wholly or partially owned by former homebrewers, who’ve been inspired by the local culture. It would be interesting to see if the growth in Texas relates to a growth in homebrewing there as well.

    • March 28, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      That’s a good point – local hobbyists growing up in a rich beer culture going pro. Smart, Will.

      • March 28, 2013 at 10:21 am #

        I wonder how the marijuana market will cut into this growth.

        • March 28, 2013 at 10:28 am #

          I think it will only increase with all of the drug tourists needing a beer to change things up 😉

        • March 28, 2013 at 10:32 am #

          Yup, and then every time they see a can of Dale’s back home, they’ll be like “Duuude! Remember when we smoked pot with one of these cans?!”

          I predict sales will skyrocket across the country.

          Also, has anyone set up the Rocky Mountain High tour? Because they should.

        • March 28, 2013 at 10:29 am #

          Could go either way:

          – Dude, did we just drink a beer?
          – Dunno, brah. Beer sounds good.
          – Yeah man, a beer sounds EXCELLENT right now…

        • March 28, 2013 at 10:40 am #

          I’ve heard of at least start-ups planning to offer tours. Anything and everything imaginable involved with pot is coming out of the woodwork since it passed. Just remember to break out the Cheetos and Goldfish when you come.

        • March 28, 2013 at 10:44 am #

          You need to invent the Colorado version of those classic stoner snacks, Will, to sell to the pot tourists. Mountain Munchies? Colorado Crunch? Boulder-Dash?

        • March 28, 2013 at 11:33 am #

          They’ll need beer to wash down all the munchy fodder.

        • March 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

          Fair enough.

  3. March 28, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Have you visited Austin? That’s where the mini boom is in craft beer brewing. I did a weak post on it a couple weeks ago based upon my annual trips. The craft beer scene out there is vibrant and growing. They’re on the radar of established guru’s as well. I had a great chat with Tomme Arthur at a Port/Lost Abbey event at the PourHouse in Westmont and he mentioned Austin as a contender for the next “craft beer Mecca” along with San Diego, Portland and Asheville.

    Problem is that with the exception of Shiner (really just a western version of Yuengling with equally uninspiring brews), none of the Texas breweries have enough capacity to break free of the State’s massive gravity.

    In any event, I’m not surprised to see that Texas is up there. Deservedly so.


  4. March 28, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    We have quite a few popping up in NY as well. Though most opened last year, I’m still looking forward to my buddy’s brewery (Abandon) opening later this year in Penn Yan, and I recently learned that Shmaltz is opening theirs right in my town (Clifton Park)!

    • March 28, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      I was a little surprised NY wasn’t on the list, if only due to population – it’s third in the country. I know NYC counts for a chunk of that, but more drinkers would equal more breweries, or so one would think.

      Maybe next year.

      • March 28, 2013 at 11:07 am #

        Perhaps. NYC does count for a big chunk of NY’s population, but getting space there is also problematic for startup breweries. Still, several found their way in there. Overall NY State doesn’t seem to have too many (given the population). This was a little shocking to learn, as there are easily a dozen within a half hour drive from my house.

  5. Andy
    March 28, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Having just moved to Dallas, I can tell you craft beer is definitely on the upswing. Getting into the scene, it looks like most craft beer-focused bars have opened in the last 1-2 years along with a few breweries here in the DFW area.

    Austin is leading the way (of course), being the most progressive city in the state. There’s something like 20 brewbups/breweries there. Brewpubs can’t bottle or distribute their beer outside their premises, but as you mentioned above, SB 515-518 are looking to change that.

    Plus, it’s just another way to highlight that Texas Pride!

    • March 28, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      I’m very interested in checking out Deep Ellum if I ever get down that way.

      • Andy
        March 28, 2013 at 10:50 am #

        If you do – let me know! Their IPA and Rye Pils are pretty top-notch.

        • March 28, 2013 at 10:55 am #

          Rye Pils sounds interesting – hard to pull off without it becoming a peppery mess (both styles need malt to keep the Rye or Saaz hops from taking over).

  6. April 5, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Very interesting. Beer nerds here in North Carolina swear that our state is at the forefront of the beer movement. I always disagree with this notion. In our microcosm it may appear that way, but I travel a lot and see that the rest of the world is growing in this movement as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: