December 31, 2018

Brewery Growth – Urban and Rural

Brewers Association always has excellent data! They recently wrote an article about the growth of #craftbeer in the US. Lot’s of data, lot’s of stats and interesting results. Here is an excerpt.

As the number of farm and rural breweries has grown, I’ve recently gotten several inquiries about whether rural breweries have increased in popularity in recent years. In absolute terms, the answer is an unqualified yes, but that answer is fairly unsatisfying, since breweries have simply increased everywhere. So prompted by a sharp question on Twitter, I decided to look at the number of breweries based on the population of various places over time.

To do this, I’m using the Census Bureau’s data on urbanized areas and clusters. Urbanized areas are regions of 50,000 people or more, and urban clusters run from 2,500 to 50,000 people. Anything else is considered outside an “urban” area – so this definition of rural will include small towns less than 2,500 people that aren’t associated with a larger urban area. (The U.S. Census Bureau has a fun story map series to illustrate these definitions.)

Rural Breweries Have Increased Overall But Decreased as a Percentage

The results are fascinating, and show that as a percentage, the number of breweries in rural areas and the smallest towns under 2,500 people has actually decreased as a percentage of all breweries since 2013, despite a growth of 129% in the number those breweries overall (note that total brewery growth has been 142% since 2013). I’ve used the 2010 Census population data for both time periods – if there were updated data by place and year, it might shift the results slightly.

Breweries per 100,000 Population

Pop (2010 Census), Urban Areas2013Current% Ch
Not in a 2010 urban area0.441.00129%
Non-urban as % of Total8.9%8.4%

Read the rest of the article

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