IF IT SEEMS that there’s a brewery on every corner these days it’s probably because there pretty much is. Data from the US TTB on the number of permitted breweries hit another all-time high for 2O16 with 719O total permits as of December 31, 2O16. The count means the TTB issued 111O new permits last year. While this is slightly below the 1142 new permits issued in 2O15, it is still strong and is the third straight year the country added more than 1OOO newly permitted breweries. The brewery expansions parallel the business cycle expansion from 2O1O to 2O16 and stand out in an economy that has been sluggish and subpar relative to past business cycles. Despite all the negative rhetoric of the past six years, new breweries have continued to find growth opportunities in the beer market. Around the country, the individual state counts exceed the US total from just a few years ago. In California, for instance, the total of 927 permits is almost as many as the entire domestic total of 974 permits in 1995. Florida at 264 exceeds the 199O national count of 25O.
On a normalized basis, that measures breweries per 1OO,OOO residents in each state, a lot has changed since the 2O1O recession for beer consumers. That year, there were O.7 breweries per 1OO,OOO residents at the national level. Today, that number stands at 2.2 breweries per 1OO,OOO residents. Vermont stands out among all the states with the single highest breweries per capita at 11.7. Following behind Vermont, by a large margin, are Maine at 7.7, Montana at 7.6 and Colorado at 7. Around the country, per capita brewery measures in many states have more than tripled since 2O1O. In fact, only five states did not experience a significant (more than doubling) increase in breweries per capita from 2O1O to 2O16. With continued declines in per capita consumption for malt beverages in 2O16 on the books, this year’s beer market is gearing up for another highly competitive, innovative and dynamic battle. The TTB has lowered barriers to entry for new brewers by extending due dates for excise taxes and eliminating the excise tax bond requirements to ease the upfront cash outlay for new brewers making less than 7OOO barrels per year.