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Craft Beer Times | The State of Craft Beer in 2022: Microbreweries, Taprooms, and Brewpubs

The State of Craft Beer in 2022: Microbreweries, Taprooms, and Brewpubs

The State of Craft Beer in 2022: Microbreweries, Taprooms, and Brewpubs

The Rise of Craft Beer Culture

Craft beer has taken the world by storm, and it’s not hard to see why. The rise of microbreweries, taprooms, and brewpubs has created a culture surrounding the production and consumption of independent, creative, and flavorful beers. In recent years, the demand for craft beer has skyrocketed, with many people opting for locally-made, unique brews over mass-produced, generic ones.

The Impact of the Pandemic

2022 was a challenging year for many microbreweries, taprooms, and brewpubs due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic. While some larger beer companies were able to weather the storm thanks to their vast resources and distribution channels, smaller, independent breweries struggled to stay afloat. With many states imposing lockdowns and social distancing measures, taprooms and brewpubs were forced to close their doors, and breweries had to rely solely on online sales and distribution to stay in business.

Moving Online

Despite the challenges, many craft breweries successfully shifted their operations online. With customers unable to visit their taprooms, brewers needed to find a way to reach them remotely. Many breweries started offering online beer sales and home delivery, with some even offering virtual beer tastings and other online events. While online sales alone could not fully compensate for the loss of taproom revenue, it was a crucial lifeline for many struggling breweries.

The Return of Taprooms and Brewpubs

As the pandemic situation improved towards the end of the year, taprooms and brewpubs started to reopen, and customer demand for in-person beer experiences surged. Some breweries had to adapt their taprooms to meet social distancing requirements, while others implemented safety protocols such as temperature checks and mask mandates. Despite these challenges, taprooms and brewpubs continue to draw in customers, offering them a unique and immersive experience that cannot be replicated online.

The Future of Craft Beer

As 2022 draws to a close, the craft beer industry is poised for continued growth. While the pandemic caused significant disruption, many microbreweries, taprooms, and brewpubs have adapted and survived. With a renewed focus on local, independent craftsmanship and experiential beer consumption, craft beer culture is here to stay. With new breweries opening every day and innovative new beer styles emerging, the future of craft beer is bright.


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.

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