Some American Beer History: as you will see there is so much more to this industry than the Big Mass market beers. Each pint has a story and a history, take time to get to know your beer and embrace the history.
1612 The first known American brewery opened in New Amsterdam (now Manhattan).
1810 ---132 breweries operated and per capita consumption of commercially brewed beer amounted to less than a gallon.
1873 the country had 4131 breweries, a high water mark, and in 1914 per capita consumption had grown to 20 gallons (compared to about 21.5 today).
1918 the country had only one quarter the number of brewers that operated 45 years before.
1920, January 16th National Prohibition (individual states had prohibition as early as 1848) began when the 18th amendment, also known as the Volstead Act, went into effect.
1933 April prohibition repealed and the return of 3.2% beer. Within a year 756 breweries were making beer, but the biggest companies remained intent on expansion, using production efficiencies and marketing to squeeze out smaller breweries.
1950 the number of breweries shrunk to 407
1961 only 207 breweries in the USA
1983 now down to 80 breweries run by 51 companies
then the revival took place
2009 over 1500 Breweries in the USA
2012 Continued growth 2126 American Breweries with an Estimated 1200+ more estimated to be opened with in the next year or two.
So what will the future hold for the Craft Beer industry??? I think after this large scale growth we will again see some consolidation and the good brands will maintain and thrive and we will lose some for various reasons. But I hope that we never loose the freedom to brew new and exciting beers. As in all industries I think consumers need a choice.... I choose beer!!!!
thankful for much of the above information from Craftbeer.com