Brewing boom: Is the craft beer market over-saturated?

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The brewing business is booming.

The Brewers Association just released new numbers. They show the industry has grown by 16 percent in 2017.

The craft beer industry generated $26 billion last year, and with the industry booming, a lot of people want to get in.

Now, there are 6,372 breweries across the U.S.

Is that too much?

The owner of a Warren brewery that’s opening up in two weeks said over-saturation of the market is a concern, but the way we drink beer is shifting.

“Warren is in a really good spot with not a lot of saturation. That said, I think the market is shifting toward more small breweries, more local breweries,” said Adam Keck, owner of Modern Methods Brewing Company.

Keck is currently preparing for the brewery’s grand opening on April 14.

He has been making beer for eight years, starting at home.

When he wrote a business plan for Modern Methods two years ago, the U.S. was home to a little over 4,500 breweries.

Justin Homer owns the Casual Pint in Boardman.

Local and independent beer makers are a big part of Homer’s business. He marks Youngstown area beers with a special symbol on his menu.

Also, Homer said people come in and examine cans for more than just the type of beer and alcohol level.

“Where you can see the independent beer label, it’s an upside-down bottle. It had independent in there; people look for that,” he said.

The craft beer market grew 8 percent from 2016 to 2017. Craft brewers provided more than 135,000 jobs, an increase of greater than 6,000 from the previous year.

In 2017, craft brewers saw an 8 percent increase in retail dollar value and volume.

That surge in sales within the last few years played a big role in Homer opening the Casual Pint nine months ago.

“It’s just amazing what’s going on right now,” he said. “I call it a beer revolution.”

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