Back on this day in 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed a bill legalizing home brewing. However states could still set their own limits. The American beer market has definitely changed since President Carter was in office, especially in the past five years.
The Brewers Association defines American craft breweries as those independently owned operations (note: they can’t have greater than 25% investment by a non-craft beer company) producing less than 6 million barrels a year. The Census Bureau released in July indicated that the number of U.S. breweries doubled in the past five years largely due to craft beer. In the past two years alone, on average, 1.2 craft breweries opened each day, contributing to a total of 15.6 million barrels of beer last year. According to the Brewers Association, craft beer now accounts for 7.8% of the U.S. beer market.
Craft beer: I’ll drink to that!