Washington state added 62 new breweries in 2013


Aslan Brewing Bellingham

Aslan Brewing gets the first shipment of nine beer brewing tanks at their new brew pub under construction on North Forest Street in Bellingham on Dec 3, 2013. The brewery plans to open this Spring.


It's not just Bellingham that is going through a growth spurt when it comes to breweries.

Washington state added 62 breweries in 2013, the second-highest number of additions across the U.S., according to a new study from The Beer Institute.

Overall 948 breweries were added across the U.S. last year, the majority of which were considered brewpubs.

With those additions last year, Washington state ended 2013 with 251 breweries, the second-highest total in the U.S., followed by Colorado (217) and Oregon (208). California has 508 breweries, the highest among U.S. states. Those four states have nearly one-third of all the breweries in the nation.

The beer industry went through a long period of consolidation but has grown significantly in recent years, said Chris Thorne, vice president of communications at The Beer Institute, which is based in Washington, D.C. At the end of 2013 the U.S. had 3,699 breweries; in 1991 the total was around 500.

"Thanks in great part to the small brewer tax credit, today we're seeing more small brewers than every before. But consumers are also increasingly less loyal to beer, and that is a challenge for every brewer of any size," Thorne said in a news release.

In Bellingham, two breweries are in construction mode. Aslan Brewing and Wander Brewing are expected to open this spring.

Further details can be found at beerinstitute.org.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Read the Business Blog at bellinghamherald.com/business-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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