Brewers Association: Craft Brewers Contribute $34 Billion to U.S. Economy

Small and independent craft brewers contributed $33.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, according to an economic report commissioned by the Brewers Association.

“With a strong presence across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, craft breweries are a vibrant and flourishing economic force at the local, state and national level,” Bart Watson, the Brewers Association’s staff economist, said in the release.

The five states where craft had the most impact were California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania and Colorado. Together, the five states generated just under 38 percent of craft’s overall output in 2012, ringing in a combined $12.8 billion.

Five other states — Illinois, Oregon, Ohio, Washington and Michigan — rounded out the top ten and also contriuted more than $1 billion each in economic impact.

The Brewers Association also analyzed the output of the craft brewing industry on a per capita basis for adults over 21. Not surprisingly, smaller states like Vermont, Maine and Montana ranked in the top five. Oregon topped the list, generating $448.56 per capita for adults over 21. In Vermont, the per capita output is over $418. The national average economic impact, per capita, is $149.46.

In an email to Brewbound, Watson said that states like California and Texas will generally have larger total outputs than smaller geographies like Vermont or Maine adding that “on a per capita basis, the craft brewing industry contributes more to the economies of those smaller states than the craft industry does in the larger ones.”

To determine the results, the Brewers Association said it conducted two national surveys and examined the responses using IMPLAN economic analysis data software. The Brewers Association said it also sourced pricing and sales estimates from a variety of data suppliers like IRI and GuestMetrics to determine the total impact of beer brewed by craft brewers as it made its way through the three-tier supply chain. Additionally, the organization calculated non-beer products sold by brewpub restaurants, according to a press release.

This is the first time the group has measured the impact of craft beer on the economy and Watson said he plans to continue conducting this research on an annual basis.

According to additional information provided by the association, 363,703 full-time jobs have been created by the craft brewing industry in the U.S. More than 44,000 of those jobs are in California, the most of any state. By comparison, North Dakota employed the fewest full-time craft brewery workers in 2012 but contributed $82 million to the economy — more than $111,000 per person.

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