Last September, the Brewers Association revealed an important milestone: 4,000 active breweries, reckoned to be the first time there have been 4,000 breweries in America since just after the Civil War.
U.S. PASSES 4,000 BREWERIES, by Bart Watson (Brewers Association; published on September 28, 2015)
... What it does not mean is that we’ve reached a saturation point. Most of the new entrants continue to be small and local, operating in neighborhoods or towns. What it means to be a brewery is shifting, back toward an era when breweries were largely local, and operated as a neighborhood bar or restaurant.
How many neighborhoods in the country could still stand to gain from a high-quality brewpub or micro taproom? While a return to the per capita ratio of 1873 seems unlikely (that would mean more than 30,000 breweries), the resurgence of American brewing is far from over.
Unlikely? Heck, we can do that.
In 1873, the US population was around 43,000,000. That same year, the number of American breweries was 4,131, with the per capita ratio being one brewery for every 10,400 Americans.
Rounding off New Albany's 2016 population at 37,000 and dividing by three (NABC, Donum Dei and Floyd County Brewing), we find our city's current ratio at one brewery for every 12,333 inhabitants -- quite close to the 1873 numbers.
However, if we allow for the stand-alone brewery at each NABC location, the ratio changes to one actual brewing system for every 9,288 citizens.
See how far we've come? New Albany has gone all the way back to 1873 and beyond, in a very positive way, so as the pundits say: Support your local brewer.
NABC has been in business for a while, but Donum Dei and Floyd County Brewing are relatively new. Check 'em out during New Albany Craft Beer Week.