Chicago is about PACK EXPO but also about BREWS

While we are here at PACK EXPO  we are usually so busy at the show and getting together with colleagues and clients that there isn’t enough time to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of Chicago!  But if you do find yourself out and about and the opportunity comes up to try a Chicago craft beer, here’s a little background on the brew industry there and a list of local breweries that you might find on the menu.

Breweries in Illinois produce a wide range of beers in different styles that are marketed locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Brewing companies vary widely in the volume and variety of beer produced, from small nanobreweries and microbreweries to massive multinational conglomerate macrobreweries. Illinois is the 25th most extensive and the fifth most populous of the 50 states, and is often noted as a microcosm of the entire country.

In 2012 Illinois’ 83 breweries and brewpubs employed 1,300 people directly, and more than 45,000 others in related jobs such as wholesaling and retailing.  Including people directly employed in brewing, as well as those who supply Illinois’ breweries with everything from ingredients to machinery, the total business and personal tax revenue generated by Illinois’ breweries and related industries was more than $1.4 billion. Consumer purchases of Illinois’ brewery products generated almost $450 million extra in tax revenue. In 2012, according to the Brewers Association, Illinois ranked 36th in the number of craft breweries per capita with 68.

For context, at the end of 2013 there were 2,822 breweries in the United States, including 2,768 craft breweries subdivided into 1,237 brewpubs, 1,412 microbreweries and 119 regional craft breweries.  In that same year, according to the Beer Institute, the brewing industry employed around 43,000 Americans in brewing and distribution and had a combined economic impact of more than $246 billion.

An analysis done in 2015 reported that Chicago craft brewers occupied more square feet of commercial real estate than those of any other U.S. city. According to the same study, Chicago had 144 craft breweries, second only to Portland, Oregon which had 196.

Check out this list of Breweries!

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