A report released by the Brewers Association (BA) today says that America’s small and independent craft brewers contributed $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016 and $292 million to West Virginia’s.
The figures are derived from the total impact of beer brewed by craft brewers as it moves through the three-tier system (breweries, wholesalers and retailers), as well as all non-beer products like food and merchandise that brewpub restaurants and brewery taprooms sell.
The BA reported that, nationally, the industry also provided more than 456,000 full-time equivalent jobs, with more than 128,000 jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs, including serving staff at brewpubs. They estimate the industry provided 1,792 jobs to West Virginia. Certainly, a nice chunk of those jobs come from the states own 27 small breweries.
BA Chief Economist Bart Watson was quoted saying, “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. 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.”
The BA estimated the economic impact in West Virginia as follows:
Total Economic Impact 2016