CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — Virginia is one of the top five states with the fastest growing craft beer industry, according to a new survey conducted by Creative and Response Research Services.
Virginia's craft beer industry has grown by 36 percent since 2015. Virginia follows behind New Jersey and Kentucky, which are both tied at 43 percent growth, Oklahoma at 39 percent, and North Carolina at 37 percent. New Hampshire comes in sixth place behind Virginia at 33 percent in growth.
As of 2018, Virginia has at least three breweries per every 100,000 adults 21 and over.
Joshua Guthrie, taproom manager at Hardywood Brewery on Main St. in Charlottesville, contributed this growth to people's growing curiosity of the industry.
"One aspect is just the creative part of it," said Guthrie. "Everyone wants to try new things and breweries are coming up with new ideas, new recipes, and bringing new flavors to the public and people want to try it."
At Hardywood, Gutherie said they have been trying out different dessert beers like their Gingerbread Stout.
The growth these last couple of years could also have to do with a Virginia law that passed in 2012 that started to allow breweries to sell their beer by the glass.
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Virginia distilleries hope to see similar growth if the General Assembly passes a proposed bill to remove the state-imposed markup on distilled spirits.