Something’s Brewing Craft Beer More Widely Available Than Ever

Few industries are growing as fast as craft brewing. In 2015, the number of operating craft breweries in the U.S. grew 15% to more than than 4,200, which was the most in the history of the country. Craft beer now makes up about 12% of the overall beer market in the U.S., and the craft beer market is worth about $23.5 billion. There are a number of ways you can experience craft beer, largely depending on your tastes and preferences and the size of the brewery.

One of the easiest ways to experience craft beer is to visit a brewery’s tap room. Nearly all craft brewers have their own tap rooms, where they serve their beer offerings. For some smaller breweries, this may be the only place you can experience their beer. In addition to drinking the beer in the tap room, you may have an opportunity to take home beer in a growler. Growlers are half-gallon containers of beer that can be bought and taken home. Many craft brewers have their own unique growlers that may be customized in some way, and you can usually buy growlers in the tap room or straight from the brewery. Beer growlers may even be offered at other bars where the beer is sold.

If unique growlers aren’t your thing, you may be able to buy bottles or cans of your favorite craft brew. Many craft breweries have found that distribution is the best way to increase their chances of making profit, so they either can their beer or put it in bottles and sell it in establishments. Most states require craft brewers to go through a distributor to sell their beer, just like the large national brands have to do. This can be expensive, so many smaller breweries will limit distribution just to the immediate area where they are based. Some larger craft breweries do wider distribution, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

If you are a craft beer fan, you are living in the right time. Craft beer is more widely available than it ever has been, and whether you want a keg, a growler or cans or bottles of your favorite craft beer, you are likely to be in luck.

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