Wisconsin, U.S. Craft Beer Makers Having a Good Year


Craft beer sales continue to rise across the country, as people can’t get enough of the latest pale ales or coffee porters. Wisconsin’s breweries are also benefiting.

According to the Brewers Association, craft beer sales in the U.S. are up 14% since the beginning of the year.

Sprecher Brewing Company and Wisconsin Brewers Guild President Jeff Hamilton says he doesn’t have solid numbers for state sales yet, but anecdotally, he says they’re up. Hamilton attributes that to generational changes and the growing local and foodie movement, “Craft brewers are artists usually so they are looking at what can I try next. Can I take this traditional recipe and maybe add some herbs or some fruit, tea or coffee, you get something more interesting out of it. You see a lot of creativity there, so I think consumers benefit from that.”

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Hamilton says Sprecher’s beer sales have been consistent with the national numbers this year.

Central Waters Brewing Company in Amherst is one of Wisconsin’s many success stories. Sales are up 34% since January. President Paul Graham says in the last five years, Central Waters has repeatedly expanded facilities and hired 14 employees, “We’re probably one of the luckiest industries out there, to actually get grassroots followings behind us. Even through the disaster of 2008 and what’s followed behind that, the growth that this industry has seen is just tremendous. I can’t compare it to anything else.”

In the last year, 350 breweries have opened up across the country and at least 1200 are in the works.