Brewing industry makes a comeback!

The Brewers Association just released their annual US Craft Brewing industry report, and it speaks highly of the resiliency of the industry.  Putting it in the perspective of one year ago, as the country (and world) was descending into COVID lockdowns, putting a dagger into the heart of the restaurant, bar and taproom business.  Forecasts at the time were that as many as 80% of Craft breweries would be forced to close.

Thanks to the PPP (and estimated 85% of Craft breweries took advantage of the PPP SBA program), creative distribution alternative planning, cooperative local governments, and perhaps American’s desire for good Craft beer, the actual results were not nearly as bad as many worried in the Spring of 2020.

The most interesting statistic was the number of new breweries that opened in 2020.  The BA reported 716 new breweries actually opened in 2020, a net increase of 370, bringing the total to 8,764 Craft breweries by year-end.  The 346 closings was about double the average the previous few years, but far from the predicted doom.

With still over 2,000 approved permits in the pipeline, 2021 appears to be the year that the U.S. will surpass 9,000 Craft breweries.  That collective sigh that you hear as Americans continue to get vaccinated in large numbers, is actually the sound of a satisfying sip on a freshly brewed IPA.