The New Yorker reported last week that the craft brewery phenomenon is colonizing what one might call the craft-beer frontier: the parts of the country that are far from the major craft breweries of the West Coast and the Northeast.
According to newly released 2012 data gathered by the Brewers Association, even as production remains concentrated in traditional craft-beer regions, it is surging in the South and elsewhere. Of the country’s 50 largest craft breweries, 27 are located in California, Oregon, New England or the Mid-Atlantic with 11 in the Golden State alone. Five of the remaining 23 are in Colorado — the same number that can be found in the entirety of the Deep South.
But from 2011 to 2012, annual production grew faster in the South than just about anywhere else, with Tennessee the fifth fastest-growing producer, Florida the seventh and Kentucky the eighth. And the single fastest-growing producer of all 50 states was Alabama.