Americans have a taste for locally-brewed craft beers

About half of South Dakota's craft beer breweries are West River, including five in Rapid City. (KEVN)
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - While American consumption of beer is reportedly declining, the craft beer industry has a good head of steam.

In the last decade, craft brewery businesses expanded by a factor of six; with the number of jobs within the industry growing at a 120 percent rate.

According to a Pew Research report, the craft beer industry grows at an annual rate of 13 to 14 percent. In 2008, these breweries accounted for only 4.2 percent of all beer sales. That nearly doubled by 2014.

Beer Marketer’s Insights says the popularity of craft beer mostly rests in the drinker’s desire for local flavors. Locally-made is somewhat or very important to 60 percent of craft beer drinkers.

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There is big money to be made in the craft beer business.

The Brewers Association economic impact data from 2017 shows South Dakota is ranked 13th per capita, with 28 breweries. That’s a solid jump from the five craft breweries in 2011.

Production, however, is only 18,196 barrels a year, just under a gallon for every person 21 and older in the state. That ranks the state last in production; with an economic impact of $209 million.