Food & Culture

Washington’s Craft Breweries: Our Pint Runneth Over

Craft brewers keep the kettles cooking

By Rob Smith December 14, 2022

Aaron Leitz

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2022 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Those who want to enjoy a cold craft beer in Washington state have no shortage of options.

The state has 437 craft breweries, according to the 2021 report from the Brewers Association. This trade group based in Boulder, Colorado, represents small and independent craft brewers across the United States. That’s up significantly from 2011, when only 136 breweries were operating.

The state’s largest independent craft brewer based on sales volume is Georgetown Brewing Co., founded 20 years ago by Manny Chao and Roger Bialous. Georgetown is the 25th-largest craft brewer in the country and the only one in Washington state among the nation’s 50 largest. It is the second-largest in the Northwest, behind only Bend-based Deschutes Brewery, which ranks No. 12 overall.

The No. 1 spot is held by D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc., based in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1829, it is considered the country’s oldest brewery.

Nationwide, the craft brewing industry contributed $62.1 billion to the economy in 2020 and provided more than 400,000 total jobs, with slightly more than a third of those directly at breweries and brewpubs.

Here’s a by the numbers look at Washington’s brewing scene:

State Craft Beer Sales & Production Statistics, 2021 – Brewers Association

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