January 11, 2021
As 2019 was coming to an end, local breweries ramped up production for spring in anticipation of an expected uptick in sales. A seasonably warm March 2020 had Washingtonians shedding their winter coats, eager to drink outdoors. Fresh off a Nationals World Series championship, brewers were excited about the sales potential of having their beer available at District Drafts carts at Nationals Park. The beer festival season that stretches from March through November was about to kick off.
Last year was also supposed to be a big year for beer nationwide. According to the Brewers Association, craft breweries in the U.S. saw consistent growth in beer production starting in the early 2000s. Bart Watson, the national association’s chief economist, forecasted this trend to continue in 2020. He anticipated 3 to 4 percent growth nationally and 4 to 5 percent growth in the D.C. region. On-site taprooms became more popular. According to Watson, there were more than 2,900 in operation nationwide by the end of 2019. Taprooms position breweries to be even more integrated into their communities and tack on a new way to generate revenue.
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