If it seems like new craft breweries are popping up every day across South Jersey, it’s not just a beer-goggle observation.

New Jersey has seen a 43 percent increase in growth of its craft beer industry since 2015. In fact, the Garden State is tied with Kentucky as the state that made the greatest gains, according to a new study conducted by C+R, a research group.

Among the reasons, licensing laws in New Jersey have recently become laxer, allowing for microbreweries to begin selling beer by the glass and by the keg since 2012, according to the report.

However, it notes that the state is still on the low side of beer production with 1 to 1.9 breweries per capita (100,000 adults over 21). Compare that to first place Vermont, with 11.5 breweries per capita, and the numbers are more sobering. New Jersey is also on the low end in terms of economic impact. According to C+R, NJ breweries generate $251 per capita. Vermont again came out on top with $667 per capita.

The study was prompted by the explosive growth of breweries nationwide. In 2007, there were only 1,511 of them in the country. In 2018, that number grew to over 7,000, according to C+, which crunched data collected nationwide from the Brewers Association and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

We’ll raise a pint glass to that!

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