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Big jump in Washington state breweries

Washington state added 62 breweries in 2013, one of the biggest jumps across the U.S.

The Beer Institute came out with a study indicating the U.S. added 948 breweries last year, the majority of which were considered brewpubs.

With those 2013 additions, Washington state ended the year 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. 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.

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