Craft Beer Contributes $6.5B to Calif. Economy: Report

The California Craft Brewer's Association finds that the craft beer industry contributes more to California's economy than in any other state in the U.S.

It’s no secret that craft beer is a major industry in San Diego and across California, so much so that it contributed $6.5 billion to the state’s economy last year, a newly-released report states.

According to new data from the California Craft Brewer’s Association (CCBA), the craft beer industry’s contribution to California’s economy in 2014 was an 18 percent increase from the 2013 stats.

That growth means the craft beer industry in California has a higher economic impact than in any other state in the nation. The CCBA said the $6.5 billion figure is still a conservative number and even more accurate data will be tapped in June.

The craft beer industry also contributed to employment across the state. In 2014, craft brewers employed more than 48,000 Californians.

The number of operating breweries across the Golden State also grew in 2014 by more than 24 percent resulting in a total of 520 operating breweries that produced 3.5 billion barrels of beer. Exports totaled 1.3 million barrels last year, higher than the total production of every other state except Colorado and Pennsylvania.

The CCBA said craft brewers paid more than $56 million in state and federal excise taxes in 2014, and more than $1.3 billion in income and other local, state and federal taxes.

According to research from the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR), a non-partisan, non-profit organization that conducts research in San Diego County, the craft brewing industry’s contribution to the San Diego region has doubled in the past three years to $600 million in 2014.

With this economic growth, job growth has followed. The NUSIPR said San Diego breweries and brewpubs created 3,752 jobs in 2014 and overall sustained 6,203 jobs – an overall 122 percent increase in those areas since 2011.

“Year-to-year growth has mostly been driven by the expansion efforts of larger breweries,” the research stated.

The NUSIPR said the number of breweries and brewpubs in San Diego more than doubled in 2014. At the end of the year, there were 97 breweries and brewpubs in the county, a 165 percent increase from 37 in 2011.

The craft beer industry’s sales in 2011 reached $847 million – up from $752 million in 2013.

To learn more about the CCBA and check out a map of California breweries – including San Diego-based ones – click here.

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