A Visual Insight into

U.S. Craft Beers

by Dan Spector

Craft breweries are the fastest growing segment of the American beer industry. In 2017, while total U.S. beer sales were actually down 1.2% from the previous year, craft beer sales were up a whopping 5%. In addition, overall production of beer was down 1% in 2017, whereas craft breweries produced 5% more beer by volume. What makes craft breweries so appealing?


Annual production of barrels of beer in a craft brewery must equal 6 million barrels or less. This equates to approximately 3% of annual U.S. beer sales.


Only 25% or less of a craft brewery can be controlled by another beverage alcohol industry member. This member cannot itself be a craft brewery.


A majority of the alcohol content of a craft beer must derive from the fermentation process. For instance, a flavored malt beverage does not count as a craft beer.

The visualizations below present a snapshot of American craft beers and breweries, organized by state. Unfortunately, the dataset is not an exhaustive list. There are 559 breweries and 2,411 beers currently listed, out of a total of over 6,000 U.S. craft breweries as of 2018. Cheers!


The craft brewery statistics and definitions above were sourced from the Brewers Association for Small and Independent Craft Breweries.

The dataset used to power this visualization comes from Jean-Nicholas Hould.

The bubble animation comes from a pen by Mark Bowley.

3. Hover over each beer from the United States!
Average Alcohol by Volume of all beers in the United States
Average International Bitterness Units of all beers in the United States
1. Click on a state. State selected: the United States
2. Hover over a city.
Bigger circles represent cities with more breweries.