Craft Beer Struggles to Keep It Local, Raising Questions for the Loyal

NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Local production has been a cornerstone of U.S. craft beer — one that craft's growth may undercut.

According to a Nielsen report issued this year, 53% of beer consumers ages 21 to 34 cite local production as important in choosing what beer they buy, compared with just 45% among all drinkers over 21. Among those same 21- to 34-year-olds, 32% say locally produced beer has only become more important to them over the past few years, compared with just 22% of all 21-and-over beer drinkers who've reached the same conclusion.

Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewers Association craft beer industry group, felt this information was not only worth touting, but points out that 75% of Americans 21 and older now live within 10 miles of a brewery. There are now more than 3,400 licensed breweries in the United States contributing to a $19.6 billion craft beer industry, according to the Brewers Association. There are another 2,000+ on the way.

A locavore following is great for all of those brewers, right? Kind of.

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