California's craft beer industry continued to expand in 2018, but at a slower rate than in recent years. There are craft breweries in cities all over the Inland Empire. As Capital Public Radio's Randol White explains, just a few regions are seeing the fastest growth.
California now has nearly a thousand licensed craft breweries, up from just a few hundred in 2012.
The California Craft Brewers Association says the industry contributed more than eight billion dollars to the economy last year.
Based on brewery licenses issued by the state [California's Alcoholic Beverage Control], the Los Angeles area - including Orange and Ventura Counties - saw the greatest expansion with a net gain of 24.
But that's down from the growth seen in the region the year before.
Leia Ostermann Bailey is the association's managing director and says the slowdown was expected.
BAILEY: "We're looking at this as kind of a normal growth process for a small business industry. And right now, where craft breweries are succeeding is locally and in their neighborhoods."
The Sacramento regions saw the next highest net growth in licenses, with 17 new breweries.
Napa and Sonoma Counties came in third with eight.
Some areas saw a decline, most notably San Diego County where there were three fewer licensed breweries.
San Diego also has the second highest number of craft operations in the state, with 175.
In Sacramento, I'm Randol White