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