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Craft Beer Added $79 Billion to Economy in 2018

September 25, 2019, 5:13 PM UTC
Craft Beer Brews-Economic Impact
Marco De Anda drinks from a beer flight in the taproom at Like Minds Brewery in Milwaukee on May 24, 2017. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
John J. Kim—Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The days of eye popping growth for the craft beer industry might be behind it, but that doesn’t mean things are fading away.

The craft beer industry contributed $79.1 billion to the U.S. economy last year and was responsible for 559,545 jobs, according to the Brewers Association just-released 2018 economic impact report. That’s a 4% improvement from the 2017 numbers.

The numbers incorporate finances and employment at breweries, wholesalers and retailers.

California got the biggest craft beer’s economic bump, with $9 billion. Pennsylvania was second with $6.3 billion and Texas saw an impact of $5.1 billion. New York and Florida rounded out the top five.

“With small breweries in every state and nearly every congressional district in the country, craft brewers are a vital and growing part of the economy in cities and towns all across the country,” said Bart Watson, chief economist of the Brewers Association, in a statement. “Beer lovers are spending their dollars by supporting small and independent brewers in their local communities and across the country, and its positive impact is evident nationwide.”

The report comes a little over a week before the start of the Great American Beer Festival, which is widely considered the Super Bowl of the craft beer world, with over 4,000 different beers from 800-plus brewers being poured.

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