Hat tip to my former colleague Ryan Sholin for sharing this article from The Atlantic on craft beer boom: Craft Beer Is the Strangest, Happiest Economic Story in America
But in the last decade, something strange and extraordinary has happened. Between 2008 and 2016, the number of brewery establishments expanded by a factor of six, and the number of brewery workers grew by 120 percent. Yes, a 200-year-old industry has sextupled its establishments and more than doubled its workforce in less than a decade. Even more incredibly, this has happened during a time when U.S. beer consumption declined.
The boom has been significant in Virginia, according to June 2017 WTVR (Richmond) Virginia has more breweries than N.C.; industry employs 28,000:
The number of breweries in the Commonwealth has more than doubled during Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration, though SB604 – considered the primary driver of the new beer economy – was passed by the General Assembly and signed by former Governor Robert McDonnell.
The state has seen a 468% growth in breweries/cideries since 2012.
The current governor is profiled by VA Growler, The Virginian-Pilot beer blog: Crafting his own legacy: In an exclusive interview, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam talks beer, business, and the McAuliffe legacy
The state on the other side of the Potomac though welp, Maryland gonna Maryland. The state comptroller, Peter Franchot, is trying to fix that though (Naptown Pint). It’s good for Virginia as reported by WAMU: As Craft Beer Industry Booms, Maryland Is Losing Brewers To Virginia
In the D.C. area, there had not been any packaging breweries inside the Beltway since before the Beltway was built. Now, they are all over on either side of the Beltway. Port City Brewing Co., a short bike ride from me, was the first and has already begun expansion. DC Brau was the first in the District since 1956. The Ivy City neighborhood has several beer and spirits producers now.
I have compiled an extensive twitter list of breweries in the DC area. Warning, it scrolls forever: