The term Golden Age originally came from Greek mythology. It now has basically come to mean “the best time ever” in the pop lexicon and is frequently used nowadays. Film has had several “Golden Ages,” and music has had too many to count.
And that brings us to American craft beer… which is experiencing some very heady times.
The thing about “Golden Ages” is your never 100% sure that you’re really in one. Sometimes it is only when something is no longer “all that” that you realize, in retrospect, that the time was special.
And if 2014’s craft beer stats are any indication these times might indeed be special.
Mark J Perry is the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem and using data provided by our friends at the Brewers Association he’s worked up some charts that put last year’s brewery growth into historical and visually startling perspective. He highlighted some persuasive factoids that argue that American craft beer might truly be entering some sort of “Golden Age.”
Last Year the Number of Breweries Reached a 140-Year High
An astounding 3,464 came on line in 2014. That’s the greatest number of domestic brewers since 1874. There were 1874 local and regional breweries way back then and we’ll potentially surpass that number soon. (Golden Age? – Yes / No)
More Breweries Came On Line in 2014 than Ever Before
Last year an astounding 547 breweries came on line – that’s statistically more than one new brewery a day! (Golden Age? – Yes / No)
Craft Beer One of the Fastest Growing Sectors In the American Economy
“Except for maybe the exponential growth in shale oil production in Texas and North Dakota and the growth in natural gas production in the Marcellus region,” Mr. Perry doesn’t think that there “are very many other examples of a rise in output or number of producers than can compare to the surge in American beer makers over the last decade.” (Golden Age? – Yes / No)