Red, White, & Booze: Craft Conquers the U.S.

Corporate states of america graphic Steve Lovelace

Last week, I saw this really interesting map (pictured above), created by artist and writer Steve Lovelace, called “Corporate States of America.” The map shows the most famous brands (as of 2012) that originated in each of the 50 states. I’m sure many of you saw it. It’s pretty damn cool.

Well, Wednesday, one of my coworkers passed along the gem you see below. It’s a spin-off from the brand map, called “Red, White, and Booze,” showing the logo of each state’s most notable liquor or beer companies. Take a look, and let me know if you notice a pattern.

Red, white, and booze map by Thrillist

Click on the image to see a larger version of the map.

20 years ago, my guess is that 90-95% of this map would have been covered by the macro beer brands, with the remaining 5-10% left for craft beer and liquor. While big beer and liquor brands still have a presence on this map, I’d say those numbers are close to inverted. Big brand booze covers about 10-12% , with craft brands dominating the rest.

Craft brewing sales in 2012 were only 6.5% by volume and 10.2% by dollars. That’s not a ton when you think about all of the names on there. But this map shows the “biggest/most high-profile liquor or beer companies,” according to the map’s creators at Thrillist. So, it’s like this: While the macro brands sell a lot of their beer in each of the 50 states, they are not the most notable, popular, or high profile.

There’s a craft takeover happening in the US, and it’s a beautiful thing. While shelf space is tight, and this is often a problem for startup breweries, limited shelf space also pushes contending craft breweries to put something quality into the marketplace, so they can keep that space and eventually earn more.

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