Virginia — named by the Travel Channel as one of the Top 7 beer destinations in North America — has designated August as Virginia Craft Beer month.
The article features these Virginia brewers
- Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Nelson County
- Legend Brewing Co., Richmond
- Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond
With more than 2,125 breweries nationwide, craft brewers make up a nearly $9 billion industry and provide about 104,000 jobs across the country, according to the Brewers Association, the trade group representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies. And the industry, which sold about 11.5 million barrels of beer in 2011, has seen volumes grow 13 percent compared with 2010. By comparison, the overall U.S. beer market is estimated to be a $96 billion industry and sold nearly 200 million barrels of beer last year.
Larger brewers are even trying to capitalize on the craft brew craze. Anheuser-Busch this summer introduced a beer named for the 23185 ZIP code, where the brewmaster at its Williamsburg facility created the small-batch beer as part of a new Budweiser program called "Project 12." The project created small-batch beers at 12 of its breweries. After being pared down to six, consumer feedback will help pick the beers to be included in a limited-edition sampler pack this fall.