Tag Archives: coppersea

U.S. craft distilleries pass 1,000

It’s official: the number of U.S. craft distilleries in operation has passed 1,000, according to latest assessment by Michael Kinstlick of Coppersea Distilling.

Kinstlick released his updated snapshot of the U.S. craft distilling market today, and the growth he’s tracking continues unabated at a rate of roughly 350 new distilleries per year, with a current in-production total of 1,043:

One of the most interesting trends Kinstlick notes is the predominance of craft distilleries on the West Coast. Washington state in particular has been an overachiever: it went gone from zero craft distilleries in 2006…

craft distilleries by state 2006

…to 94 in 2016–the most in the country. (California and New York are tied for second place with 89 apiece.)

craft distilleries by state 2016

Kinstlick offers some interesting comparisons with the earlier growth trends among craft breweries. While we can expect microdistillery growth to taper off somewhat in the near future as “marginal” players exit the market, don’t jump on the bandwagon when you see the first headline about the “end of craft distilling”:

The craft beer market started seeing exits in the early-90s, just as the craft distillery market is now. Then the number of new entrants continued to dominate until the late-90s/early- 00s when exits went up & entrants declined and predictions were for the “end of craft beer.” And then the number of breweries tripled after 2010.

Thanks to Kinstlick for sharing this latest update. You can sign up at Coppersea for future updates–and check out their delicious spirits too.

Cheers, friends! – BO

2016: The State of the Craft Spirits Union Is Strong

I’m not going to bury the lead here. Craft distilling in the U.S. isn’t just booming anymore. It’s exploding.

According to the market update released this week (PDF) by Coppersea Distilling CEO Michael Kinstlick, the number of U.S. craft distilleries is set to pass  1,000 this year–two years ahead of Kinstlick’s previous projection.

When he’s not cooking up some of the most intriguing craft spirits on the market (together with Coppersea chief distiller Christopher Williams), Kinstlick has been tracking the growth of craft distilling more closely than anyone I know. He shared his initial assessment in a 2012 “state of the market” white paper, and has released regular updates since.

In 2012, Kinstlick put the number of U.S. craft distilleries at 250, noting that the total was doubling every three years. By 2015, the total had more than doubled, reaching 600. Now the rate’s jumped again, with the total set to pass 1,000 this year:

Producing craft distilleries
From “The U.S. Craft Distilling Market: 2015 Update,” by Michael Kinstlick

Continue reading 2016: The State of the Craft Spirits Union Is Strong