1. I love infographics, a marriage of data and graphic illustration that shows information in a beautiful and understandable way. A new Silicon Valley start-up, Visual.ly, has a mission to create and help others create cool visual charts, infographics and videos.

    One of their latest works is The American Beer Revival, created by Nate Whitson. Here’s how they describe it:

    Over the last hundred or so years, the brewing industry in the United States has changed dramatically. From the saloon era through consolidation to today’s flourishing craft beer culture, it’s been quite a ride. Take a look at how the small brewer is making quite a comeback after nearly a half century of decline.

    But better yet, just watch.

  2. The Concentration in the US Beer Industry, from Philip H. Howard, an assistant professor at Michigan State University, in the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies. His bubble chart seeks to show the major companies selling beer in the U.S. — domestic and imports — and also uses different lines to show arrangements of distribution and partial ownership, where applicable. You can see more detail using Zoom.It. Howards also notes “that the graphic above focuses on the top 13 firms, and excludes varieties of malt liquor and non-alcoholic beers.”

  3. I recently stumbled upon this nice infographic showing Breweries Per Capita By State 2010 based on data compiled by the Brooklyn Growler. It was created by an assistant professor at Michigan State University, Phillip H. Howard, with help from a Ginger Ogilvie. The size of the circles neatly shows the relative number of breweries in each state, relative to its size, though knowing how populous each state is helps to make it more understandable.

  4. Part two of the annual Gallup Poll into American drinking habits. As has been the case in all but one suspect year, beer is the most consumer alcoholic beverage. I suspect, because even in the year people “reported” drinking more wine — 2005 — beer still outsold wine 4 to 1.

  5. The annual Gallup Poll into American drinking habits was recently released. According to this year’s results, 67% of adults imbibe, a 1% increase from last year, and the highest percentage in 25 years. Also, the percentage of American abstaining hitting what looks to be the second-lowest number, 33%. Only around 1978-81 looks to have had fewer abstainers, which is great news since studies have shown that moderate drinkers tend to live longer than abstainers.

  6. Good news again this year for craft brewers. The Brewers Association has released the mid-year numbers and they’re positive again this year despite a rocky economy. Volume sales grew 9% over the same period last year and sales dollars are up 12% for the first six months of 2010 as compared to 2009. Last year those same stats were 5% and 9% respectively.

    From the press release:

    Craft breweries continue to grow despite many challenges, and currently provide an estimated 100,000 jobs and contribute significantly to the U.S. economy. Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year are an estimated 4.6 million, compared to 4.2 million barrels sold in the first half of 2009.

    “While craft brewer sales volume climbed 9 percent in the first half of 2010, overall U.S. beer industry volume sales are down 2.7 percent so far,” noted Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “There is a movement by beer lovers to the innovative and flavorful beers created by America’s small and independent craft brewers. More people are starting to think of craft-brewed beer first when they buy in restaurants, bars and stores.”

    The other great news is the number of new brewery openings, which continues to rise, too. 100 new breweries or brewpubs have opened in last year. Picking up the press release again:

    The U.S. now boasts 1,625 breweries—an increase of 100 additional breweries since July of 2009—and the highest number in 100 years. A century ago in 1910, consolidation and the run-up to Prohibition had reduced the number of breweries to 1,498.

    “Entrepreneurs across the land are creating jobs by opening new microbreweries and brewpubs, and we are also seeing many homebrewing hobbyists going pro by starting what have been referred to as nanobreweries,” Gatza added. “Super tiny microbreweries or brew pubs, that make beer for a very localized network of taverns and stores, are starting to become a trend, primarily in the states that allow self-distribution as a means of getting beer to market.”

  7. Why the Germans will win the World Cup — symmetry. (via ilovecharts)