Whenever I meet people in social settings, the conversation often drifts to the beverage we’re holding in our hands.
And when the topic of local breweries inevitably arises, a common question rears its foamy head: “Doesn’t Idaho have an insane number of breweries for its size?”
I wouldn’t say insane, necessarily, despite Boise’s highly competitive market.
But we are in the top 20 percent nationwide.
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Using adults 21 and older as a statistical base, Idaho ranks 10th in the United States for number of breweries per capita.
The Gem State is home to 4.5 breweries for every 100,000 adults, according to the Brewers Association, a trade organization representing the craft beer industry. There are 22 Idaho breweries operating in the Treasure Valley. The Brewers Association says there are 54 breweries statewide.
So which state has the No. 1, liver-exploding number of breweries per capita? Vermont. No shocker there. Home to New England IPA and acclaimed breweries such as The Alchemist, Vermont has 11.5 breweries per 100,000 adults.
Our neighbor Montana blows Idaho away, too. It finished second per capita with 75 craft breweries and higher overall beer production. In the West, Colorado, Oregon (unsurprisingly) and Wyoming also topped Idaho in number of breweries per capita.
So yeah. If you feel like Idaho has a ton of beer flowing, you’re sort of right. But it’s really how you crunch the numbers.
Incidentally, California has more breweries than any other state: 764. On that note, don’t be surprised if transplants bring a couple more breweries to Idaho before the flood is all said and done.