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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Two a Day

As I traipsed around the country on my book tour, I found myself regularly saying something like, "there are 3,500 breweries in the country"--usually by way of an excuse for why I hadn't tried a certain spectacular local beer. It turns out I was 644 breweries off. Today the Brewers Association pegged the figure at 4,144. If you're wondering why they've chosen the odd timing of early December to make this announcement, it has to do with a certain historical precedent:
As of the end of November, there are now 4,144 breweries in the country, topping the historic high of 4,131 breweries in 1873.
That official figure from 1873 is somewhat fishy (record-keeping wasn't quite as precise during the Grant administration), but it's good enough for press releasing. The more important stat is in a bullet list within the release, and helps explain how I could be off by so much when I talked about brewery figures:
Brewery openings now exceed two a day.
I was apparently using a figure that was grossly out-of-date: ten months. Is it sustainable? Are we in the midst of a bubble? Questions for another day. For the moment, just rest in that two-a-day stat; the emotional truth of it is startling.

Me, I'm off to the Holiday Ale Fest.