A new study finds local craft breweries contribute more to San Diego's economy than Comic-Con does.
According to the National University System Institute for Policy Research, craft brewers generated nearly $300 million for our local economy in 2011.
Comic-Con, arguably one of the region’s most popular annual events, brings in a regional economic impact of $180 million the study suggests.
The industry employs more than 1600 workers in the San Diego region and is defined as local craft breweries or small batch brewers.
With more than 60 small breweries, San Diego County has more than twice the number of micro-breweries than any other in the state.
More than half of those licenses have been issued in the last two years.
Existing breweries like Green Flash, Coronado and Stone Brewing Co. are expanding.
Industry experts credit the recent explosion to consumers wanting a high-quality product and the ability for small breweries to reach their customers through social media.
Part of that reach involves tourism with San Diego Beer Week drawing thousands to San Diego in November. The study’s author found Beer Week was tied to $469,000 in hotel revenue in 2011.
When brewers got together in November 2012 to discuss recent changes in the industry, there was concern a craft brew bubble may soon pop.
Some brewers are worried incoming companies may dilute the quality of existing and well-respected San Diego brands.
One potential solution is in the San Diego Brewer’s Guild, an organization credited with working to eliminate that threat by educating beginners.