Baton Rouge slowly embracing nationally growing craft beer industry

    The number of breweries in Louisiana nearly tripled from 2012 to 2016, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau, in line with national trends indicating that the number of breweries across the United States more than tripled in the five-year period.

    In 2012, there were only seven brewery establishments statewide, but in 2016, Louisiana reported 20—an 185.7% increase. Most of that growth, the census found, happened in small, craft brewery establishments, otherwise defined as small and independent businesses with fewer than 50 employees that combine traditional brew styles with innovative ingredients.

    In East Baton Rouge Parish, however, there wasn’t any growth in the craft beer industry during that time frame; the same brewery that existed in the parish in 2012, Tin Roof Brewery, was still the only local brewery by the time the 2016 census results rolled out.

    But the craft alcohol industry is still rising in Baton Rouge, as detailed by Business Report in a 2017 feature—a slow trend that began with the 2010 arrival of Tin Roof and now includes Southern Craft Brewing, which debuted its brews in April 2016.

    Brewers attribute Baton Rouge’s slow embrace of the industry to the fierce loyalty local drinkers have for national brands as well as the city’s lack of pedestrian-friendly entertainment corridors. Some sources in a 225 cover package also cite Louisiana’s unfavorable regulatory environment.

    Still, three new operators—Cypress Coast, Rally Brewing Co. and Le Chien Brewing Co.—have announced plans to open in Baton Rouge in 2018, hinting the sector is poised to pick up steam.

    If national trends are any indication, more will join them. Every one of the 50 states and just over a quarter of the nation’s 3,143 counties have at least one brewery. Not a single U.S. state saw a decline in the overall number of breweries between 2012 and 2016.

    Read the U.S. Census Bureau’s full report.

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