Where Does U.S. Beer Go After 3,700 Breweries?

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) — There’s no “peak beer” or “beer bubble,” but it’s getting crowded in the craft beer world.

Word from the Beer Institute beer industry lobbying group in Washington, D.C., is that the U.S. now has a record-high 3,699 active “permitted breweries” overseen by the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. According to Beer Institute analysis, the majority of the 948 permits issued in 2013 went to brewpubs. That’s great if you’re up for a beer and a burger, but even a modest uptick in production breweries makes a big difference.

Just from a historic perspective, those 3,699 breweries are no small deal. That’s well ahead of the 2,722 total presented by the Brewers Association craft beer industry group at the end of last year. That group noted that 1,744 breweries were in the planning stages at the end of December, though. The TTB’s total would not only exceed 2,685 breweries that appeared on the Register of United States Breweries in 1876, but surpass the 3,286 that existed in 1870.

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