Consolidation doesn't mean the end of craft beer
Sure, consolidation is happening -- we just wrote about Cigar City's purchase by an investment group that owns a majority stake in Oskar Blues. There are more breweries under one roof, and some of those roofs (rooves?) happen to be owned by macrobrewers. But here's the good news: Cigar City is not closing! It could potentially be making even more Hunahpu now! And here's some more good news: 620 breweries opened in 2015 compared to only 68 closings. That means more beer for everyone. Prices should continue to go down, and competition will ratchet up. As a beer drinker, this should be music to your ears.
Not only is there more beer on the market, there are more fun places to drink it. The number of brewpubs in this country increased by 10% in 2015, and with 20% more microbreweries around, hopefully we'll have to update this list of great taprooms to eat in shortly.
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Lee Breslouer is a senior writer for Thrillist, and thinks more beer is a good thing. Follow him to the Cigar City fanboy club: @LeeBreslouer.