We love craft beer, and we're not afraid to talk your ear off about it. It turns out, we're not alone. According to the Brewers Association, there are now 2,126 craft breweries in the U.S., more than there have been since 1890. This number includes 350 new breweries that have opened since June 2011 alone. Guys, we get it -- you want more beer.
These numbers are especially amazing in light of the fact that overall beer sales numbers have decreased across the board, except in craft beer's case, which saw a twelve percent increase in the first half of 2012, and for imported beer, which was up 1% in 2011.
Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association made note of one particularly amazing statistic:
Beer-passionate Americans are opening breweries at a rate faster than at any time since the day Prohibition ended for the beverage of moderation. There is nearly a new brewery opening for every day of the year, benefiting beer lovers and communities in every area across the country.
In addition to providing the valuable service of giving us new and delightful American beers to drink, these small breweries also account for an estimated 104,000 full-time and part-time jobs -- a significant contribution to our nation's recovering economy.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that craft beer is the only exception to overall beer sales numbers decreasing. In addition to craft beer, imported beer sales were up 1% in 2011.
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Correction: An earlier version of this article featured a related slideshow titled, "The Top Craft Breweries of 2012." It was actually the top selling American breweries overall, which is why it featured both craft and major breweries.
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