Sep 26, 2022 - Food and Drink

Arizona's craft breweries are producing more than ever

Credit: Data: Brewers Association; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios

Arizona's craft beer industry is having a rebound moment after the pandemic initially crippled the industry.

State of play: Each of Arizona's 10 largest craft breweries increased its production in 2021.

  • Mother Road Brewing Co. produced the most with 19,400 barrels.
  • Grand Canyon Brewing Co. saw the biggest percentage increase, growing 384% to 10,000 barrels.

Between the lines: The annual data — published in The New Brewer, the journal of the Brewers Association — is the most comprehensive breakdown of the state's craft beer industry.

Of note: Not all of our craft brewers are represented in the rankings because some do not submit sales and production data to the Brewers Association, the industry's trade group.

  • We looked at sales from breweries, brewpubs and taprooms but excluded contract brewers who make beer for others.
  • Local places who don't meet the definition of independent were also excluded — including Four Peaks Brewing Co., which was sold to Anheuser-Busch in 2015.

What's next: Andrew Bauman of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild told us it's not just the big established craft breweries that are faring well.

  • Six new ones opened in the state this year with four more planned before the end of 2022.
  • Five existing locations are either under construction on expansions or looking to build new production facilities.

What he's saying: "People sometimes ask, 'Do we have too many (craft breweries)? Are we getting there?'"

  • "We're not even close. We have plenty of room."

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