The New Brewery Tsunami

When I was compiling my pre-emptive football-attention-deflecting post yesterday, I had to try to figure out how many breweries are located in Alabama. The Brewers Association compiles a very handy list of each state's breweries, which made my task a snap. Even more handily, they list breweries in the planning stages, and I was struck by what appears to be a tsunami of new breweries ready to open. Alabama, for example has just six breweries, but seven more in the planning stages. I selected a few states at random as further examples:
  • Connecticut, six in the planning stages
  • Iowa, nine
  • Tennessee, eleven
  • New York, twenty-six
  • Colorado, twenty-nine
Of course, I had to check out Oregon, and consistent with the trend, twelve breweries are in the planning stages. The list:
  • Charlatan Brewing, Portland
  • Dexter Brewing, Portland | website
  • Dragon's Gate, Milton-Freewater | website
  • Noble Brewing, Bend
  • Occidental Brewing, Portland
  • Sasquatch Brewery, Portland
  • Workshop Brewpub, Portland
  • Unnamed brewery, Hillsboro
  • Four unnamed breweries, Portland
Holy doppelbock, that's a lot of new places! The Brewers Association currently lists about 1600 active breweries in the US. If this rate of new openings is typical, then the number of breweries could jump by a third in the 12-18 months. I will have to put my head to the question of whether this represents the natural evolution of a growing market or a brewery bubble (or both), but for the moment, I'll leave it at the observation stage.