It’s no secret that the number of craft and home brewers is at one of its highest levels in the history of the United States. More and more people every year are opting for a new beer in their glass every chance they get, hence the unofficial motto of the craft brewing industry: “People are loyal, but not faithful.”
Here are a few fun facts about craft and home brewing in the United States and their popularity over the past couple of years:
1. In 2012, the craft brewing industry grew 15% by volume and 17% by dollars - that's nearly triple the amount of growth that the industry experienced just 5 years ago.
2. Over 2,300 microbreweries, brew pubs and regional craft breweries were in operation in 2012 − that's one of the highest numbers seen since the late 1800s.
3. In terms of breweries per capita, Vermont had the highest ratio as of 2010: one brewery for every 24,000 people. Mississippi anchored that list, with only 3 craft breweries for all of its citizens.
5. California tops the list of total craft breweries with 316, followed by Washington (158), Colorado (151), and Oregon (140).
6. Those high numbers of breweries out West certainly correlate with proximity to the Yakima Valley in Washington, which contains approximately 75 percent of the total hop acreage in the United States.
Here are a few interesting facts about home brewing:
1. Home brewing was not made legal in the United States until February 1, 1979 under the federal Cranston Bill, after the California Senator Alan Cranston.
2. The actual reason home brewing was illegal was a simple typo in the Prohibition repeal that allowed home wine making, but failed to mention “and/or beer” as legal.
3. The American Homebrewers Association estimates that 1 million Americans brew beer at home at least once a year.
4. Legally, a home brewer is only allowed to brew up to 100 gallons of beer per year, or 200 gallons if there is more than one person in the household.
5. It is illegal to sell home brew.
6. Mississippi and Alabama were the last two states to legalize home brewing, finally joining the crowd in 2013.