Tunes, Tails, and Ales: Murphy’s 1st Annual Beer Fest was held on  May 14th at Murphy Central Park which included Craft beer samplings a crawfish boil and free live music during the festival.

Tunes, Tails, and Ales: Murphy’s 1st Annual Beer Fest was held on May 14th at Murphy Central Park which included Craft beer samplings a crawfish boil and free live music during the festival.

Jerry McClure

You've heard us say before that there have never been more breweries, more craft beer or more people drinking it in the history of our country. And after receiving the the 2016 mid-year report from the Brewers Association, we'll say it again.

With $22 billion in sales in 2015, small breweries mean big business

According to the trade association, the craft beer industry continues to break records. The number of breweries in America reached 4,656 as of June 30, up from the historical high of 4,269 at the end of 2015

On the whole, craft beer production volume increased 8 percent in the first half of this year, which means plenty more for swilling. Better add a couple extra reps to your beer-hoisting regimen.

Additionally, the Brewers Association reported there are 2,200 new breweries in the works nationwide. (We're expecting quite a few locally, too.)

The stats beg the question: How much craft beer is too much craft beer?

"While the craft brewing industry is entering a period of maturation, most markets are not near saturation," said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association, in a statement. "As craft's base gets larger, as with any industry, it becomes more difficult for it to grow at the same percentage rate. Yet there is still tremendous dynamism reflected in eight percent growth for craft."

In 2015, Americans spent $22.3 billion on craft beer. If the early numbers are any indication, drinkers may be even thirstier this trip around the sun.

For more brews news, visit GuideLive.com/craft-beer.

What's Happening on GuideLive