The consistent and prolonged success of the craft brewing industry seems to have confounded many people, including those in the mainstream media. There has been a steady trend of articles suggesting that there are simply too many breweries in the U.S. and that the craft beer bubble could pop at any time.
Many have compared the craft beer industry of today with the industry leading up to the slowdown of the late 1990’s. But even the industry slowdown then wasn’t a bursting bubble. Growth simply slowed down for a few years. Remember; the craft brewing industry is at “an all-time high!” At no time since the inception of the craft brewing industry has it experienced a year of negative growth.
The Brewers Association’s Bart Watson takes this argument to the next level, laying out in detail why the U.S. actually doesn’t have as many breweries as one might expect given the current level of craft sales.