Will New York dethrone California as the capital of craft beer?
You may be saying to yourself "New York the capital of craft beer?, no way." Well, believe it or not, New York climbed from 7th in the US to 2nd from 2015 to 2022. After California, New York has the second most number of breweries....more than Colorado and Washington which are most often considered "craft beer destinations."
As of this post, there are 504 licensed breweries in the state of New York and the market is nowhere near saturated.
In addition to the number of breweries, NY has the deepest craft beer history in the country. Documents exist proving that the first craft brewery to exist in the US was in 1612 on the island of Manhattan. Further, the first beer to be legally sold after the repeal of prohibition was Utica Club, the beloved beer by FX Matt Brewing, which also operates Saranac Brewing Co.
What about the quality of New York craft beer?
"From Brooklyn Brewery to Ommegang to Suarez Family, the state is loaded with old and new – all making tasty beers." (beerconnoisseur.com)
New York beers and breweries are increasingly showing up on "best of" lists.
- Delish - 20 Best IPAs
- Thrillist - 34 Best Breweries in the US
- Liquor.com - 13 Best American Beers
Lunkenheimer (Weedsport) is one of the most decorated breweries you've never heard of in the US - based right here in NY!
The growth of breweries coupled with the noteworthy quality of beers in New York is certainly interesting. New York is adding more new breweries a year than any other state. Even during Covid, NY added 27 more breweries than the number that closed. Given the population of California, it's unlikely New York will take the #1 spot but there's no denying that New York has earned a place in the craft beer conversation.