Since the opening of York County’s first craft brewery in 2011, we have seen 21 additional craft breweries open their doors throughout the county with several more in the wings planning their entry onto the scene this year. Not a one has closed until now. While the closing of Crystal Ball Brewing Company this past month was unfortunate, and they will surely be missed, the York County craft beer scene is alive and well. The county’s amazing growth rate has bucked the national trend.
Conversely, 219 craft breweries cease operations in 2018 and an estimated record 300 closures occurred this past year. With craft beer volume growth slowing nationally for the third straight year at 4% and faced with an ever increasingly competitive craft beer market, the craft brewers of York County have established themselves as a major player in the Pennsylvania craft beer industry, contributing to Pennsylvania’s No. 1 ranking for craft beer production at 3.71 million barrels and No. 2 in economic output at $6.3 billion.
The success of York County’s craft brewers has been, not just their quality craft beers, but their strong local community connections. That community connection, however, requires reciprocity on our part. With the number of options available today for the craft beer drinker, it’s incumbent upon each of us to support our York County craft brewers to ensure we continue to have such an amazing craft beer scene. What a great time to be a craft beer drinker!
-Glenn J. Smith
Founder, York County Ale Trail