CHICAGO—The growing desire among consumers for specially-crafted beers is creating a new niche in the world of commercial real estate, and Chicago is leading the way. That metro area’s craft beer industry had a a 65.9% growth rate between 2013 and 2014, and included 144 existing breweries and 39 others in the planning stage, making it the top craft beer market in the country, according to a new national market study by Colliers International.

Colliers analyzed 29 craft brewing markets to gauge the industry’s growing market share and its impact on cities across the US. The firm concluded that craft breweries are bringing growth to a far-flung array of metros, rather than the limited number of markets which host the large traditional breweries.

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