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Microbrews Means Big Business in Washington

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Washington state is at the center of continuing growth in microbreweries after a beer crafters’ lobbying group says it is one of four states that account for a third of all U.S. breweries.

The Evergreen State holds a special distinction in that group that also includes California, Colorado and Oregon.

Jeff Winn, co-owner of Yakima Craft Brewery on River Road says it makes sense that microbrews are growing in the heart of beer country.

“The primary ingredients hop is driven from this valley and this state. The pacific northwest has been for the last 30 years has been on the forefront of market of craft beer.”

With 251 breweries, Washington is only second to California in number of breweries but has a much better brewery-to-inhabitant ratio than California. Washington has at least one brewery per 27,000 inhabitants while each of California’s 508 breweries represents about 7,400 inhabitants.

Washington opened 62 new breweries in 2013, more than any other state except California. That made up about 6.5 percent of the 948 mostly small breweries opened nationally in 2013.

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