PORTLAND, OR - The Oregon Brewers Guild announced on Tuesday that Oregon’s breweries crafted 1,168,000 barrels of beer (or roughly 290 million pints) during 2011, a 7.5 percent increase from the previous year. Despite overall weak employment figures for the year in Oregon, the state’s brewing companies added more than 600 jobs in 2011 and directly employed more than 5,500 people.
“Increasing production by 7.5 percent simply means more jobs,” said Brian Butenschoen, Executive Director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. “When an increased number of Oregonians choose Oregon beer over other options, we need more farmers to grow hops and barley, brewers buy more equipment, open breweries, and hire new employees.”
In addition to strengthening the local economy, Oregon’s 100 plus brewing companies donated product and dollars to community non-profits in 2011 equaling more than $1.45 million. Retail sales of Oregon-made beer sold in the state totaled approximately $270 million in 2011. In total, the brewing industry contributes $2.44 billion to the state’s economy and employs more than 25,000 people directly and indirectly.
Oregon currently has 110 brewing companies operating 145 brewing facilities in 58 cities across the state. Portland, Oregon currently has 49 breweries within its city limits, more than any other city in the world.
Roughly 15.8 percent of the 2.712 million barrels of all beer – both bottled and draft – consumed in the state were made in Oregon. For draft beer, that percentage is even higher, with Oregon breweries producing an estimated 42.8 percent of all draft beer consumed in the state. Both of these numbers are the highest for any state in the United States and the 2011 numbers broke previous records set in 2010. Oregonians consumed 10.7 percent more Oregon craft beer over last year, equaling 429,000 barrels. Craft beer production in the U.S. grew 13 percent in 2011 and now represents 5.7 percent of the total volume of beer brewed in the United States.
“I have to warn people that this next information set is intended for those who really, really love beer stats,” said Butenschoen. “In Oregon, craft beer has been the largest beer category for the last 20 months – a first in U.S. history – and Oregon continues to lead the country in the percentage of dollars spent on craft beer. In fact, for the week ending 12/25/11, 40 percent of dollars spent on beer in Portland supermarkets was on craft beer, and that’s also a first in U.S. history.” (statistics provided by SymphonyIRI Group)
The Oregon Brewers Guild is Oregon’s non-profit trade association for the state’s independent breweries. The Guild comprises 89 brewing companies,60 associate or supplier members and more than 3,200 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). For more information, see www.oregonbeer.org.