Chart of the day: US breweries have exploded, from 89 in the late 1970s to more than 2,500 today, a 2,750% increase!

Chart of the day: US breweries have exploded, from 89 in the late 1970s to more than 2,500 today, a 2,750% increase!

Mark J. Perry | September 22, 2013, 10:45 am


Beer drinkers rejoice: There are now more breweries in the US than ever before – 2,538 as of June 2013 (including 2,483 craft breweries) – according to the Brewers Association (“A Passionate Voice for Craft Brewers”), see chart above. Compared to the low of only 89 US breweries in the late 1970s, there’s been a 2,750% increase in US breweries, primarily because of an explosion of new craft breweries. Great Stagnation? Not for US beer drinkers – there’s never been a better time to be alive than today, and it keeps getting better all the time.

7 Signs That the Craft-Beer Craze Has Gone Totally Mainstream

By Brad Tuttle @bradrtuttleSept. 22, 20133 Comments

From Hollywood to Costco to your state senator, everyone seems to want to be associated with craft beer lately. Here are a few indications that craft beer can no longer be classified as a niche category with limited appeal to the masses.

There’s a Craft-Beer Billionaire
Amid the soaring popularity of craft beer, hundreds of new breweries launch annually and sales have been rising 15% or so per year. The phenomenon has allowed thousands of entrepreneurs to make decent livings, and it’s made a few craft-beer pioneers extremely rich. Most obviously, Jim Koch, the high-profile founder of the Boston Beer Co. (maker of Samuel Adams), became a billionaire after shares of company hit new highs last week, Bloomberg News reported. The Boston Beer Co. accounts for 1.3% of all beer sold in the U.S., making it America’s largest craft brewer and the fifth largest brewer overall, according to the Brewers Association. The company’s stock price has increased tenfold since the middle of 2009.There’s a New Craft-Beer Movie 

Described as the Sideways of the Chicago craft-beer scene,” Drinking Buddies is a new romantic comedy that was recently released in select cities to mostly good reviews. Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson star as co-workers at a brewery — Chicago’s Revolution Brewing served as the set for many scenes — who are both in relationships but seem perfect for each other.

And a New Craft-Beer TV Show 
Brew Dogs, a show featuring two beer aficionados touring craft-beer hot spots around the U.S., makes its debut on the Esquire Network on Sept. 24. Let’s hope it fares better than Brew Masters, the Discovery Channel show about craft-beer entrepreneurs that was canceled a couple years back amid rumors that Big Beer would pull advertising from the network.

Craft-Brewery Tours Are Hot Political Photo-Ops 
It’s been said that people will often vote for the candidate they’d most like to have a beer with. So it’s not a bad idea for politicians to be seen kicking back the occasional beer — especially one that’s made by a local craft brewery that employs (and is enjoyed by) potential voters. Virtually every craft brewer starts as a mom-and-pop operation, so by touring and backing legislation that helps local breweries, politicians can show they support small businesses and entrepreneurship. That’s why in recent months, politicians from New HampshireMinnesotaNew Jersey and elsewhere have been giving speeches while on tours of breweries in their respective states.

Big Retailers Are Embracing Craft Beer
Walmart wants to be the biggest seller of, well, everything — beer included. To capture consumers’ beer money lately, the world’s largest retailer has been increasingly stocking craft brands like Oregon’s Deschutes in addition to the usual assortment of Keystone, Bud, and Heineken, Bloomberg reported. Whole Foods, meanwhile, has been hosting specials like 25% off craft beerduring American Craft Beer Week. And the September 2013 issue of Costco Connection magazine — sent to members of the warehouse club — features a cover story about (yep) craft beer. Inside the magazine, the stories of brewers like Two Brothers Brewing Co. (from Illinois), Copper Kettle (Colorado) and Strike Brewing (California) are told.

And Big Beer Keeps Trying to Co-opt the Craft Appeal 
In addition to stealthily manufacturing and marketing faux craft “crafty” brews like Blue Moon and Shock Top, the world’s largest beer companies are continually brewing up new ways to woo drinkers seeking better taste. One of the latest examples, as CNBC noted, is the addition of Cascade hops — used by popular craft brewers like Sierra Nevada — to the recipe for Heineken Light, whose sales are down 10% of late.

Anyone and Everyone, It Seems, Can Start Brewing 
With hundreds of new breweries opening annually — and thousands more enthusiasts giving home brewing a shot — some business owners have seen the wisdom not of starting their own brewery operations, but to cater to the would-be brewing entrepreneur. For instance, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiled a company called Missouri Malt Supply, which sells brewing gear, ingredients and supplies and considers itself a “supermarket” for craft-beer makers.

On the other side of the state, reports the Kansas City Star, a new company called the Brew Lab might be thought of as a “build-a-beer workshop,” in which customers can buy brewing equipment and supplies, and also try out ideas and pick the brains of pros at on-site brewing stations.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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