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Festival set to celebrate craft beer’s ascendance

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Festival set to celebrate craft beer’s ascendance

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Festival set to celebrate craft beer's ascendance

DENVER — The craft beer movement continues its healthy buzz.

While overall beer sales have been essentially flat in recent years – and overall production has fallen slightly – craft beer continues to grow. Craft beer’s share of the nearly $100 million U.S. beer market rose to 14% in 2013, up from 10% two years ago, while total sales have stagnated.

And interest in beer is overflowing, too. Sales of tickets for the annual Great American Beer Festival, which kicks off here Thursday and runs through Saturday, sold out in 32 minutes when they went on sale in July.

In all, about 49,000 attendees will descend on the Colorado Convention Center to taste — and serve — a festival record 3,500-plus beers from more than 700 breweries.

The annual festival comes as the number of U.S. craft breweries is multiplying at a phenomenal rate. More than 3,000 microbreweries and brewpubs, as well as regional and nationally-known brewers, are in operation today — the biggest boom in modern times.

And the public’s appetite for craft beer is far from sated. There are more than 1,000 breweries in the planning stages, according to the Brewers Association, which puts on the festival.If expansion continues, the number of […]

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