(MEDIA GENERAL) – Not that most of us need an excuse to crack a cold one, but Thursday is National American Beer Day, and you’d be doing your country a disservice if you don’t sip some domestic suds.
The modern American beer industry is inching toward its bicentennial – Yuengling, the widely accepted longest-running American brewery, was founded in 1829 – and continues to grow and adapt. Through the nation’s founding, to prohibition, the growth of the macro brews to the craft beer boom, the American beer industry is as lively as ever.
Here is a by the numbers look at the American beer industry:
206,700,000 — According to the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the U.S. beer industry sold 206.7 million barrels of beer in 2015 – which is the equivalent of 2.8 billion cases (24 pack) of 12-ounce cans.
27.5 – According to beer shipment data, coupled with U.S. census statistics, U.S. consumers 21 years and older consumed 27.5 gallons of beer and cider per person in 2015.
$100 billion – The Beer Institute annual report shows just how lucrative the industry can be. In 2014, the industry reportedly sold more than $100 billion in beer and malt-based beverages to U.S. consumers.
4,824 – The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau reports there were 4,824 reporting breweries in the United States in 2015 – up more than 600 from 2014. In 1983, the Brewers Almanac reported there were 49 permitted breweries. There are now more than 6,000 permitted breweries as of 2015.
788 – No state has more permitted breweries than California – 788. Following California, the top five are Washington (383), Colorado (352), New York (329) and Michigan (316). North Dakota has the least amount of permitted breweries (11).
42 – According to a 2015 Gallup poll (of legal drinkers), alcohol consumers prefer beer (42 percent) to wine (34 percent) and spirits (21 percent).