This article from the Mail Tribune highlights three small breweries in Southern Oregon—Caldera Brewing Company and Standing Stone Brewing Company of Ashland, and Walkabout Brewing Company of Central Point—and hits upon the growth the industry is starting to see again. I found it particularly interesting because these truly are small breweries:
"We’re continually growing," Caldera head brewer and co-owner Jim Mills said. "It’s not super-fast, but we’re up about 11 percent year-to-date."
Upstart Walkabout has seen double-digit growth the last couple of years and is catching up to Caldera’s production level.
…According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, Caldera sold 887.6 barrels of beer (a barrel is two kegs) in the state during the first six months of the year, making it Oregon’s 35th top seller of beer.
Standing Stone’s sales also have increased. President Emile Amarotico estimated the brewpub will sell about 310 barrels of beer in 2004, up from 300 barrels last year. Aside from some individual keg sales, Standing Stone sells the majority by the pint or pitcher inside the restaurant. Through the end of June, they had sold 135.5 barrels, according to OLCC figures.
So, roughly, Caldera will be at about 1500-1700 barrels for the year, Standing Stone at 310, and Walkabout at 533. I would probably classify these guys as "picobreweries" rather than microbreweries (except for Standing Stone, which is a brewpub), but it’s good to know they’re seeing growth (and it’s good to know where to go next time I’m in the area).