The holy trinity of craft beer states is a pretty easy one to call: Oregon, Colorado and California have led the charge for years. But as the Golden State enters its fifth year of drought conditions, with little sign of change on the horizon, some beer lovers are wondering if California brewers will be able to maintain their position of dominance.
There are some reasons to worry. Last November, Bear Republic Brewing, located in Cloverdale, which has been particularly hard hit, announced it was pulling out of the Massachusetts market directly because of the drought. On June 1, it will no longer sell beer in Texas. In fact, over the past two years, the company says it has pulled out of 26 markets – as it tries to keep up with local demand. Bear Republic is one of the higher profile breweries to be impacted by the drought so far. Other craft beer kings say though they’ve been able to avoid significant cutbacks so far, they’re keeping a cautious eye on the situation.