The number of current Distilled Spirits Permits—the federal permit required to lawfully operate a distillery—has grown from 560 in 2010 to 1,865 in 2016, reports The Whiskey Wash.
In 2015 alone, almost 400 permits were issued. As of this year, more than 1,000 craft distilleries are now operating in the United States, an exponential growth in an industry that was virtually nonexistent 15 years ago.
Craft whiskey overtook vodka as the single largest craft category sometime in the early 2010’s, and its share is continuing to grow. Today, approximately 60% of all craft distilleries sell at least one whiskey expression. That figure may be even higher in actuality, since it does not count distilleries producing whiskey that are waiting for their stock to age before releasing a product.
According to Michael Kinstlick, CEO of Coppersea Distilling, this trend is not going to slow anytime soon. “The next mileston, 2,000 craft distillers, will not take nearly as long as the 23 years for the first 1,000,” Kinstlick said. “We predict another 1,000 net entrants over the next five years, and that the number of craft distillers will ultimately match the number of craft distilleries.”
[h/t The Whiskey Wash]