A Brief of the Craft Beer Industry

While craft beer has been part of America’s history since Native American’s began brewing beer from corn, the beverages we associate as craft beer have a more recent history that is currently turning into a booming industry. To put this boom into perspective: in the late 1970’s, there was estimated to be around 44 breweries in the United States. And by the end of 2013 there were a total of 2,882 breweries, with craft breweries accounting for 2,768 of the total. This astonishing growth has a lot to do with a shift in the demand from generic beers produced by industry leaders (Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors, Pabst, etc.) to locally crafted beers that offer a better tasting, higher quality beer. Also, there have been some mergers and acquisitions between larger beer companies and smaller ones (IBISWorld, 2015).

Between 2010-2015, there was an annual growth of 18.8% with total industry revenues of 5 billion. this 5 billion represents a 400% growth since 2005. Currently, there are 374 businesses and 18932 employees (IBISWorld, 2015).

Our goal is to educate the general public about regional craft breweries, with a focus on their business model. Over the next couple of weeks we will be putting various craft breweries in the Hampton Roads area under the spotlight (“Beer of the Week”), providing our readers with a company description, highlights of our tour to the brewery, personal beer ratings, among other relevant information.


IBISWorld (2015 August). Craft Beer Production in the U.S. Market Research Report.   Retrieved from http://www.ibisworld.com/industry/craft-beer-production.html



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