The Brewers Association, recently released 2014 data on U.S. craft brewing growth. For the first-time ever, craft beer reached double-digit (11 percent) volume share of the marketplace. In 2014, craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels of craft beer, and saw an 18 percent rise in production volume. Retail dollar value was estimated at $19.6 billion representing 19.3 percent market share. Craft brewers are small brewers. The hallmark of Wisconsin craft brewing and Wisconsin craft beer is innovation. Brewers interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles of craft beer that have no precedent.
Wisconsin craft brewing and Wisconsin brew pubs are continually growing in popularity. The majority of Wisconsin brew pubs combine the efforts of a microbrewery with the concept of a traditional English pub or "public house". Brew masters work within the confines of a pub-style restaurant in order to provide customers with unique beers on tap at these Wisconsin brew pubs. It can be challenging to distinguish Wisconsin brew pubs from local microbreweries, but many times the name of the establishment will provide a clue. You will find most Wisconsin brew pubs and microbreweries represented at annual Wisconsin craft beer and wine festivals.
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According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, the number of Wisconsin breweries grew steadily into the late 19th century with 160 Wisconsin breweries operating by the Civil War and more that 300 by the 1890s. After the repeal of Prohibition, Wisconsin craft brewing and Wisconsin craft beer became less common and large-scale industrial production of beer changed the landscape of brewing in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Breweries by Region