BUSINESS: Research + Stats Americans’ Thirst for Beer Fuels Brewery Boom By Staff Friday, January 17, 2020 4:09 PM Statista data journalist Niall McCarthy observed that back in 1873, the U.S. boasted 4,144 breweries, a number that fell drastically by the middle of the 20th century. “After Prohibition, the brewery count grew extremely slowly and as recently as the 1970s, the country had fewer than 100 functional breweries. 1978 was particularly poor with the count falling to just 89. Amid the craft beer explosion, such a low number is unthinkable now,” McCarthy noted.Today, Americans are living in a veritable beer paradise, with a myriad of national, regional and local number beers to choose from. According to the Brewers Association, the brewery count has grown spectacularly over the past 10 years. In 2006, the U.S. had 1,460 of them and by 2018, the count had skyrocketed to 7,450. Broken down, 230 of those were regional craft breweries, 4,522 were microbreweries and 2,594 were brewpubs, according to McCarthy.