Brewery numbers in the US have been boosted by the craft beer "Renaissance"

Brewery numbers in the US have been boosted by the craft beer "Renaissance"

The number of craft breweries in the US continues to rise, passing the 5,000 mark for the first time.

New figures from the Brewers Association this week identified 5,005 craft breweries in the US as of the end of November. At the same time last year, there were 4,144, beating a previous record of 4,131 set back in 1873.

Almost all of the breweries (99%) are small and independent craft brewers, but the continued increase shows that "America's beer Renaissance", as the BA calls the current state of the industry, may not yet be over despite recent fears that a consolidation was coming.

"This has been an exponentially exciting year as the beer community continues to grow and evolve," said Julia Herz, craft beer programme director for Brewers Association. "It is incredible to watch local brewers innovate and validate the new way the world views the US beer scene."

Brewers Association figures released in March showed that craft beer export volumes slowed for the second year in a row in 2015. However, growth was still 16%, driven by Ireland and the Netherlands.