Since the craft beer movement began in the 1980s, the craft brewing industry has exponentially grown. Today more than 6,300 small and independent craft breweries are in business across the United States. Brewpubs and taprooms have become meccas of innovation within the industry and are lifting tourism traffic and spending as consumers gather to watch a big game, relax with family and friends, and, of course, throw back a few refreshing craft beers, notes Julia Herz, craft beer program director at the Brewers Association, Boulder, Colo.
Both brewpubs and taprooms serve as magnets for consumers, but differences in scope and scale separate the two entities. Herz explains that a brewpub is a brewery with a restaurant that sells 25 percent or more of its beer on-site. A taproom, on the other hand, is a tasting/touring/education and sales center connected to a microbrewery or regional brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels or between 15,000 and 6 million barrels, respectively.