Beer Goes Up, Breweries Go Down; 2023 PA Craft Beer Stats

It would appear that the cream is rising to the top of Pennsylvania craft beer. For the first time since the data has been tracked the number of breweries operating in Pennsylvania has dropped. However, despite this decline, more beer was produced in 2023 as compared to 2022.

Each year the Brewers Association releases public data available on beer production on all states throughout the country. (You can see all past details on PA Beer stats here). And below we look at some of the key data points for Pennsylvania.

For just the second time in 8 years Pennsylvania saw an increase in beer production from the previous year. As you can see below, beer production for 2023 increased by roughly 6,000 barrels:

2016: 3,905,620 2020: 3,156,074
2017: 3,724,010 2021: 3,244,840
2018: 3,719,475 2022: 3,126,983
2019: 3,606,444 2023: 3,132,799


This rise in production goes against the trend reflected throughout the country. Pennsylvania saw an increase in beer whereas craft beer was down for the year as a whole. At 3.13 million barrels of beer produced Pennsylvania continues to find itself in the #2 overall spot throughout the United States. For another year, Pennsylvania trails California for the #1 spot. With 3.24 million barrels produced, California bested Pennsylvania by just about 100K more barrels of beer produced in 2023. It’s worth noting California saw a significant beer loss of almost 300,000 barrels while Pennsylvania saw a 6,000 barrel increase, making PA just 100,000 barrels of beer away from retaining the top spot in the country.

Probably the most notable piece of data is the number of operating breweries in PA. For the past 12 years Pennsylvania brewery numbers have always increased. Meaning more breweries opened than closed in the year. However, in 2023 PA saw the first ever drop in brewery numbers as the state went from 531 breweries in 2022 to 530 in 2023. Obviously, this drop is small at a loss of 1, but it shows that more breweries closed versus opened in the year for the first time in PA craft beer modern history.

Below you can see the number of operating breweries in PA since 2011:

2011:  88 2016: 205 2021: 486
2012: 104 2017: 282 2022: 531
2013: 108 2018: 354 2023: 530
2014: 136 2019: 401
2015: 178 2020: 444


In addition to production, Pennsylvania remained in the top part of the country in many other areas as well. In fact, in most major categories the state ranks no lower than #7. Pennsylvania remained the #2 state in the country in economic impact, came in at #3 in gallons per 21+-year-old adult (up from #4 in 2022), and #7 in impact per capita.

You can see all of the 2023 stats for yourself while enjoying a cold PA made beer:

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