The craft beer industry is growing at a phenomenal rate. Beer drinkers are drawn to the exceptional quality, taste and creativity that characterize craft beer. In Washington state, our brewers pride themselves on developing unique beer using imaginative ingredients, such as hot peppers or white chocolate, while also perfecting the mainstays like IPAs and Pilsners. Sourcing local ingredients is a priority – Eastern Washington is the hops capital of North America after all!
Washington’s breweries, many of them small and family owned, are integral parts of their local communities. When you choose to buy beer brewed in Washington, you support businesses that provide local jobs, contribute to the state’s tax base, and support a host of worthy causes. You are also encouraging the state’s breweries to strive for newer, different, and better beer!
An American Craft Brewer is:
Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.
Today, there are hundreds of documented beer styles and a handful of organizations with their own unique classifications. As beer styles continue to evolve over time, understanding the sensory side of craft beer will help you more deeply appreciate and share your knowledge and enthusiasm for the beverage of beer. Find out more by using the CraftBeer.com Style Finder
The brewing industry in Washington contributes significantly to the economic vitality of our state. The direct economic impact, when coupled with the revenue generated by distributors and retailers, totaled in excess of $6 billion in 2015.
Business and personal tax revenue in the same year topped $860 million. In addition, over $225 million were paid in federal, state, and local consumption taxes as a result of beer industry-related transactions in Washington.
(source: Beer Institute)
For a list of Washington state breweries, or to create a personal brewery tour, visit our Breweries page.