Minnesota beer growth No. 2 in nation

MICHAEL RIETMULDER | Updated 6/7/2013

New data confirms Minnesota's craft-beer scene is rapidly rising.

Maybe we Minnesotans have a chip on our shoulders about living in “flyover land” and look to lists to justify our choice or birthed habitat. But some recent (and not totally arbitrary!) rankings indicate Minnesota is, in fact, kinda rad – at least in the beer department.

New data from the Brewers Association (via this slick map assembled by the New Yorker) pegs Minnesota No. 2 in the nation in production growth between 2011 and 2012. In 2012, Minnesota’s 47 craft breweries produced more than 308,000 barrels – up 81 percent from the previous year. Only Alabama bested us in growth percentage, though the Bible Belt state ranked only 46th in total barrels produced.

Our 308,000 barrels were good for 10th most in the U.S.

Industry folk often talk breweries per capita when discussing Minnesota’s growing beer scene. In that realm we respectably ranked 17th, with 4.4 breweries per 500,000 people. However, we are significantly outpaced by beery hotbeds Oregon (18.3) and Colorado (15) over the same clip.

Maybe we’ve got a ways to go before we catch the country’s biggest beer communities. But according to, like, math Minnesota microbrews are on the come up.

[Photo: Star Tribune]