Brewing Big Business


By Karen Hendricks

If you’re a small business owner like me, you’re in the majority. What?

That’s right, the nation’s 28 million small businesses account for 54% of all sales in the U.S. And, small businesses provide 55% of all American jobs, according to the US Small Business Administration.

It’s a great time to celebrate the collective power and the sheer vitality small businesses bring to our marketplaces, through Small Business Saturday, this Saturday, November 28, 2015. Small Business Saturday, and its growing support, has a correlation to a freelance magazine article I recently wrote:

Here in Pennsylvania, there’s a movement of small, fiercely-independent businesses that collectively are brewing big business–the craft beer industry.


Craft beer—the art of combining water, malt, yeast, and hops in traditional style with an innovative twist—is a trend growing by leaps and bounds. While working with hops may be a hip market, hundreds of small, independent craft beer makers are tapping into the craft beer boom across Pennsylvania. In 2014, more than four million barrels of craft beer were produced in Pennsylvania, ranking it first in the nation in terms of production, according to the Brewers Association.

Click here to read “Brewing Big Business: Central PA is Blowing the Lid off the Craft Beer Industry,” published in the Sept/Oct issue of Celebrate Gettysburg magazine.

More Info: The Stats on PA’s Suds

  • PA has 136 craft breweries, ranking it 7th in the nation (2014)
  • In 2013, PA had 108 craft brewers; in 2011, there were 88.
  • Production (2014): 4 million + barrels of craft beer annually (ranks 1st)
  • Economic impact (2012): $1,964.3 million (ranks 4th)
  • Nationwide, there were 3,464 breweries by the end of 2014, representing an 18% increase in production within the industry in 2014.

All statistics are courtesy the Brewers Association.


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