There are about 49 breweries and brewpubs in North Carolina - a number that has been quickly growing, said Anna Lockhart, executive director of the N.C. Brewers Guild.
"In the Southeast, we're really ahead of the curve," Lockhart said. "Our craft brewing industry got a late start compared to states like Oregon and California. Even though we've come onto the scene a little bit later, in the next 10 to 15 years or so we'll catch up."
Most of the state's breweries and brewpubs are concentrated around Asheville and the Triangle ...
Small craft brewers have defied the nation's stubborn economic slump, unable to meet growing demand despite a pullback by consumers overall. ... In the first half of this year, sales of craft beer, made by the country's 1,740 small breweries, climbed 14 percent, compared with a 9 percent gain in the first six months of 2010, according the Brewers Association, a trade group in Boulder, Colo.