Friday, July 11, 2014

A Golden Time to be a Beer Drinker in America

Let me be one of the first to welcome you to the “Golden Age of Beer”. 

Today the U.S. has reached a milestone in the beer industry. There are now, as of the end of June, 3,040 breweries operating across this great country. Now it is hard to determine how many breweries were in operation in the 19th century, the guess is a few less than 3,000, so this is the first time that we, as a nation, have crossed the 3,000 barrier since (maybe) the 1870s. Quick factoid: from 1977 to 1984 there were fewer than 100 breweries in the U.S. (1978 was the low point of 89 breweries).

You may ask what does this mean, aside from your having a large selection of exceptional product to pick from. Well it means that almost 99% of these breweries are small and independent and that the majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a local brewery.  And from what I read there are over 2,000 new breweries planned which means that you may have a local brewer within walking distance of home. It is good to walk and not drive after having a few(?) beers.

Another implication is that competition continues to increase so you should see the quality and diversity of beer increase while the price should get even lower (on a relative basis). This is just standard economic theory. Competition forces a better product and/or a lower price.

And I quote “There’s never been a better time to be a serious beer drinker than today, given the awesome selection of craft beers from every part of the country.” - Mark J. Perry Professor of Economics.

Economics is the bomb ain't it friends.....


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