According to a recent analysis of craft brewery growth nationwide by the New Yorker, SanTan was the 14th fastest growing brewery in the country—based on percentage increase in production from 2011 to 2012—for breweries which brewed over 5,000 barrels in 2012.* SanTan brewed over 10,000 barrels in 2012, and we are expecting to easily supersede that amount for 2013.
While we may be experiencing remarkable growth, the story is the same around Arizona—local craft breweries are growing rapidly. The state itself was the 14th fastest-growing in craft beer production from 2011 to 2012. While SanTan is at the forefront of this growth numerically, there is evidence of it large and small. Arizona’s largest brewer, Four Peaks, opened up a second location this year as well, and I could name five breweries which have opened in the past year with another five looking to open in the upcoming year.
It’s hard to say what the reason is for the growth, but in my personal experience, once people are introduced to our beer, or local craft beer in general, it becomes their drink of choice. And while all these numbers may make it seem like craft beer here is approaching a saturation point, compared to other states, Arizona has plenty of room to grow. Maybe this puts it in perspective: Montana, a state with a population less than the city of Phoenix (not the Valley, just Phoenix) has 36 breweries. The whole state of Arizona, with six times the amount of people, has just 44. Arizona has 3.4 craft breweries per 500,000 people. Wisconsin has 7.3, Washington has 11.7, and Oregon has 18.3. And all of these states are still adding breweries.
What does it all go to say? First—Thank You. Second, keep drinking fresh, local craft beer!
*A barrel is equivalent to 31 gallons, and is the standard measure of volume for breweries in the United States.