New Challenge for Major Brewers: Over a Million People Brew Their Own Beer

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Brewing beer has been a great national pastime in this country, and a great industry has sprung up from it. Most Americans will have a beer now and then whether it’s with family or with the boys/girls, and there are many celebrated campaigns that have come from this. Dilly Dilly. But it looks like now more Americans are turning away from the big companies and campaigns and brewing the beer themselves.

In a recently released survey from the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), 1.1 million people in the United States currently homebrew their own beer, and 40% of them started the hobby within the past four years.

While 1.1 million people is still less than 1% of the total population of the United States, the percentage at which they’re growing — if kept up — could make a dent in big American beer.

Additional highlights from this survey include:

  • By the end of 2017, homebrewers will have produced more than 1.4 million barrels of brew, representing 1% of total U.S. production.
  • Homebrewers are spread across the country, with 31% in the South, 26% in the Midwest, 24% in the Northeast and 19% in the West.
  • The average homebrewer is 42 years old, and 52% are between ages 30 and 49.
  • Some 85% are married or in a domestic partnership.
  • And 68% have a college degree or some form of higher education. Nearly 68% have household incomes of $75,000 or more.

Gary Glass, director of the AHA, commented:

Homebrewing, in our opinion, is the greatest hobby there is, and the state of the hobby—underscored by homebrewers’ passion, commitment and creativity—is strong. The numbers show that we have a lot to look forward to in the years ahead, as the hobby is evolving and expanding, reaching Americans in every region and every corner of the country.