Craft breweries contributed $33.9 billion to U.S. economy in 2012

Brewers Association estimates retail value of beer sold last year at $11.9 billion

BOULDER, Colo. — Small and craft brewers contributed nearly $34 billion to the U.S. economy last year, according to a new analysis by a beer-brewing trade group.

The Brewers Association released the analysis Monday, showing that the total economic effect of beer brewed by craft brewers as it moved through breweries, wholesalers and finally retailers, as well as non-beer products sold by brewpub restaurants, was $33.9 billion.

"With a strong presence across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, craft breweries are a vibrant and flourishing economic force at the local, state and national level," Brewers Association staff economist Bart Watson said. "As consumers continue to demand a wide range of high-quality, full-flavored beers, small and independent craft brewers are meeting this growing demand with innovative offerings, creating high levels of economic value in the process."

California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania and Colorado had the highest output in 2012. The 2,347 craft breweries operated in the United States included 1,132 brewpubs, 1,118 microbreweries and 97 regional breweries. The estimated 13.2 million barrels of beer sold had an estimated retail value of $11.9 billion.


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