Study: Craft Beer Industry Worth $3 Billion To California Economy

SACRAMENTO — California Craft Brewing Association (CCBA) President Steve Wagner of the Stone Brewing Company today announced the state’s craft brewing industry generated approximately $3 billion in total impact to the California economy in 2011. California’s craft brewers also created more than 22,000 jobs in a state still facing double-digit unemployment. Citing a 2012 study sponsored by the CCBA in conjunction with UC Berkeley, Wagner issued the following statement:

“The craft brewing industry is thriving in California, generating approximately $3 billion in total economic impact and creating 22,000 jobs in 2011 despite being on the heels of the most significant recession since the Great Depression,” said CCBA President Steve Wagner. “The California craft brewing industry is an integral part of the state’s economy — making up more than 1.5% of total economic output.”

“California’s craft brewers have prospered through difficult economic times, but the industry remains dependent on the support of the state’s leadership to ensure these small and independently owned businesses have the freedom necessary to expand while adding jobs and supporting their communities.”

CCBA Executive Director Tom McCormick added the following statement:

“As the craft brewing industry continues to grow — adding more jobs and generating more tax revenue — so will its positive impact to California and the local communities that are home to our craft brewers,” said CCBA Executive Director Tom McCormick. “California’s craft brewers generated approximately $400 million in local, state and federal tax revenue in 2011 while the industry grew by 13% in production and 15% in dollars compared to 2010.”

The 2012 California Craft Brewing Industry: An Economic Impact Study, sponsored by the CCBA in conjunction with the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, quantified the total economic impact by dollar value of the California Craft Brewing industry for 2011. The study also estimated the number of jobs created, community contributions and the taxes paid locally, statewide and federally by the California craft brewing industry. California leads the nation’s craft brewing industry producing more craft beer per year than any other state.


  • The California craft brewing industry employs 22,000 Californians accounting for well over $500 million in wages
  • In 2011 the California craft brewing industry paid more than $400 million in total taxes
  • In 2011 craft breweries in California contributed over $3 billon to the California economy inclusive of all goods and services both directly and indirectly. This accounts for roughly 1.5% of California’s total economy.


Nationally, the craft brewing industry grew by 13% in 2011 and 12% in the first six months of 2012.

  • California produces more craft beer than any other state, brewing more than 2.2 million barrels (32 gallons per barrel) in 2011
  • California has more craft breweries than any other state
  • California has 12 of the top 50 largest craft breweries by volume in the country.


Craft brewers donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to charitable causes each year through philanthropy, charitable donations, volunteerism and product donations. Craft brewers are ardent supporters of local and state causes.

  • In 2011 the California craft brewing industry gave approximately $16 million of in-kind contributions to non-profit causes


The California Craft Brewers Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit trade association representing the craft and specialty brewing industry in California. The primary function of the CCBA is to monitor legislative activity at the state Capitol and to provide a single and coherent political voice that represents the interests of all of California’s craft breweries. For more information, please visit You may also follow the CCBA on Twitter @CACraftBrewers.

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