SPOKANE, Wash. — Craft beer is making a more notable economic impact in Spokane in recent years, as evidenced by the boost the city saw from No-Li Brewhouse’s FrostFest on Dec. 9.
The second-annual event generated $120,805 for the local economy, according to an economic impact study by Visit Spokane, the region’s tourism bureau.
The event at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena drew more than 2,100 people, including more than 300 visitors from outside the greater Spokane area, including a few from Canada. The attendance made FrostFest — which featured 12 new No-Li beers — one of the biggest one-day beer events in the city’s history.
“Since we opened in 2012, No-Li has worked to make Spokane a craft beer epicenter in the Northwest. We believe that the city’s craft beer industry can help build our local economy and we’re now seeing evidence that it can do just that,” said No-Li Brewhouse owner John Bryant. “This $120,000 isn’t like what Garth Brooks’ seven-show run brought to town, but it’s a great sign for what our city’s craft beer industry and beer fans can do.”
FrostFest attendees stayed at local hotels, visited the city’s acclaimed restaurants, shopped at locally owned stores and utilized a number of services. The festival also employed more than 100 people combined from No-Li, the Spokane Arena and private security agencies, as well as put money in the pockets of the local musicians, artists and artisans featured at FrostFest.
The beer industry in Washington provides a $1.7 billion economic impact to the state and is responsible for more than 13,000 jobs. It also brings thirsty visitors to the state.
“It’s exciting that beer has become a destination and that people are interested in touring for these unique events to taste some spectacular beers,” said Eric Radovich, the executive director of the Washington Beer Commission.
No-Li Brewhouse provides 65 living wage jobs in the city of Spokane and also has helped build craft beer tourism in Spokane through the programs at its pub on the banks of the Spokane River.
This was the first year that FrostFest was held at the Spokane Arena and was made possible by a unique partnership with the venue and the Spokane Chiefs, the city’s WHL hockey team. No-Li also worked with the Washington State Fallen Heroes Project and donated $5,000 to the charity’s effort to preserve the memory of the region’s military members who died while serving. No-Li also donated $1,000 to the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, who served as greeters for the festival.