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BOULDER - The American craft beer industry grew at a heady pace in 2013 — posting a 20 percent increase in sales — and officials suggest it means the boom appears sustainable.

Sales of beer from smaller, locally owned breweries, like the ones that populate the Colorado craft beer scene, rose from $11.9 billion in 2012 to $14.3 billion in 2013, according to the Boulder-based Brewers Association.

Production rose by 18 percent, from 13.2 million barrels in 2012 to 15.6 million barrels last year.

Part of the growth is due to the sheer volume of craft breweries opening. A survey released last month showed they opened at the rate of more than one a week in Colorado for the first time in 2013, and the BA year-end numbers showed that 413 new breweries opened nationwide last year.

With just 44 breweries closing across the country, that brought the total in operation (as of Dec. 31) to 2,822 — a new post-Prohibition record.

Read more in the Denver Business Journal.

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