Washington Craft Beer Exports On The Rise

Washington State has a thriving craft beer industry, ranking 8th in the United States for most breweries per capita in 2011. In fact, the first American microbrewery was started in Yakima. But now, our state isn’t the only place you can enjoy a Washington beer, as the industry starts to expand globally.

According to the Brewers Association, American craft beer exports increased by a record-breaking 72% in 2012, with a value of close to $50 million. Washington State helped lead the charge, with breweries like Airways Brewing Company, Two Beers Brewing, and Scuttlebutt Brewing exporting their flagship beers.

Not surprisingly, Canada was the largest export market in 2012. Sweden and the United Kingdom follow as #2 and #3. However, exports to Asia-Pacific region grew by 162% – strong gains were made in Australia, China, and Hong Kong, as well as Thailand and Japan.

Exports don’t seem to be slowing down in 2013. Back in February, Spokane’s No-Li Brewhouse announced it will start exporting its beer to Sweden. There is also a new company dedicated to exporting American beer called CraftCanTravel, which recently signed an agreement to export Washington State’s Red Hook Brewery beer to Europe and Asia. Breweries can also take advantage of the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Export Assistance Program, which helps food-producing small businesses increase exports to Chinese, Mexican, Korean, and Japanese markets. Now that’s something we can all toast to!


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