States in the Mountain West make up the majority of breweries.
Credit Jeremy Brooks / Flickr - Creative Commons
If you’re a fan of craft beer, you’re not alone. Breweries nationwide have doubled between 2007 and 2012, with shipments of $28 billion. That marks a 33.6 percent growth in revenue within a five-year span. Colorado is one of a handful of states that have led the way.
There was once a time when it was easy to throw around the term "craft beer" and know exactly what you were talking about. For decades, craft was the way to differentiate small, independently owned breweries – and the beer they make – from the brewing giants like Coors, Budweiser and Pabst Blue Ribbon.
The federal rule would classify breweries as animal food manufacturers because many breweries sell or donate leftover grains to ranchers.
Credit Ben Harris-Roxas / Flickr
Few people connect craft breweries with cattle feed. But passing along the spent grains from the brewing process, like barley and wheat, to livestock ranchers is a common practice. But that relationship could be in jeopardy.
Boston Beer, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium continue to have a hold on the craft beer market. The Fort Collins icon sits at number 3 on the top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies based on sales volume. It’s not just the brewers of Fat Tire, five other Colorado beer makers can be found on the Brewers Association’s annual list.