Here’s what the beginning of brewery consolidation looks like.
Last week I dug up a bunch of figures about the number of breweries and how much beer they made more than 100 years ago. Mike asked for a little perspective. So this chart starts in 1870 (the number of breweries peaked in 1873) and includes how much beer each brewery produced, on average, as well as per capita consumption by a growing population.
It tracks until 1920, the year Prohibition went into effect and picks up in 1935, a couple of years after repeal. The number of breweries steadily declined after 1935, while per capita consumption eventually surpassed 1910, peaking at 23.8 gallons a head in 1981. By 2000, of course, the three largest breweries produced more than 80 percent of American beer.
|1870||3,286||6.6 million||2,089||5.3 gallons|
Data from the History of the Brewing Industry and Brewing Science in America and the U.S. Brewers Association.