Monday, June 30, 2014

Oregon Wins the Craft Beer contest - economically speaking

This came to my attention from Brewbound ( and it speaks to not only the trends in Oregon (more people drinking more locally made beer) and the economic impact of that simple and joyful act:

Oregon’s affinity for local craft beer has reached an unprecedented high, as more than 18 percent of all beer consumed in the state last year was locally produced, according to the Oregon Brewers Guild.  Of the 1.4 million barrels the state’s breweries produced last year—an uptick of 8 percent over the year prior—500,000 were sold to Oregonians, a new in-state sales record.

After adding more than 200 jobs in 2013, the state’s brewing companies now directly employ more than 6,600 people, the Guild added.

Additionally, retail sales of beer produced in the state totaled more than $400 million last year, according to the guild, as the industry at large contributed $2.83 billion to the state’s economy, while also employing “roughly 29,000 people directly and indirectly.”

“We have the largest number of breweries per capita and also the highest percentage of dollars spent on craft beer in the U.S.,” Brian Butenschoen, executive director of the state’s brewer’s guild, said in a statement. “Hood River has a brewery for every 1,433 residents and Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world.”

[. . .]

“The palate of the consumer has changed,” he [Jim Brady, Full Sail] said. “The beer consumer, they’re picking up more variety, more flavor, if you will, in their beer. That’s been fairly consistent, not just in Portland, not just Seattle, but throughout the country.”

Though in Oregon, despite the challenge of keeping relevant in the rotation, the dedication to local has prevailed, as an estimated 53 percent of all draft beer consumed in the state last year was brewed in Oregon.
Overall craft production grew 18 percent in the U.S., the guild added, and accounts for 7.8 percent of the total volume of beer brewed in the country.