A post headlined “Less is More? Are There Too Many Beers?” has provoked quite a conversation about beer distribution on the World Class Beverages blog.
But only one of the comments I noticed addressed what jumped out at me.
Right now, the Brewer’s Association will tell you that there are almost 600 breweries in the United States that bottle, can, keg or otherwise distribute beer. That number doesn’t count the many hundreds of brewpubs that brew beer for sale in their restaurants. In most markets, there are only 2 or 3 beer distributors that will carry and sell craft beer, which leaves a theoretical total of 200 to 300 brewers per distributor in any particular area, not including the wide array of import brands that are currently available.
That would imply that every packaged beer should be available in every market.