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President of Great Dane Pub group says craft brew industry shows growth in state


MADISON, wis. (WSAU) - On the heels of being named Brew Pub Group of the year, the president of the Great Dane Pub group says the Wisconsin craft brew industry is looking up.

President Elliot Butler says the industry is getting a good deal more attention after a slow start. "Really the craft beer industry started out on the coasts, but we've got a strong heritage here in Wisconsin."

Butler says the increased attention from recent wins at the Great American Beer festival will help the industry as well. "I'm not sure about locally, but across the country there's over 1000 breweries getting ready to open." He says that most local markets will likely have at least one if not more local breweries set to open in the next 3 to 5 years.

One issue affecting the industry is the recent changes to how beer can be distributed in the state. Butler says restrictions on how local brewers can distribute beer and how much can be served in brewpubs should be looked at.

Reports show the craft beer industry increased sales 14 percent last year and is now at 5 and a half percent of annual sales of all beer across the country.