By Gail Oberst
Oregon is Number One, but craft beer drinkers already knew that.
According to the latest analysis from the Brewers Association, Oregon’s beer production and sales has a greater impact on the economy of any other state, generating $448.50 for every man and woman over the age of 21. That number is derived from sales of beer as it moves from the brewery to the consumer, producing jobs and company profits along the way. Nationally, craft brewers’ economic contribution reached $34 billion in 2012.
In Oregon, the brewing industry that year generated 14,883 jobs, paid $487 million in wages and $1.3 billion in economic impact. As of July 2013, Oregon Brewer’s Guild officials reported the economic impact as $2.83 billion per year.
“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,” said Bart Watson, staff economist for the Brewers Association.
Why is Oregon’s beer so successful? While the Oregon Beer Growler would like to take credit, Oregon’s success is actually a collaborative endeavor that includes passionate brewers behind hundreds of beer attractions and events that draw an increasingly educated drinking public.
Brian Butenschoen of the Oregon Brewers Guild updated members and guests during his recent statewide tour, delivering good news about Oregon’s breweries in 2013. Among interesting factoids:
250 events were part of Oregon Craft Beer Month in July alone.
Craft beer sales in July 2013 in Oregon increased by 9.9% over last year to $7.3 million.
June-August 2013 sales in Oregon set a record high at nearly 150,000 barrels, up 15% over last year.
As of mid-2013, Oregon Breweries employed 6400.
Beer Leaders Gather to Hear Good News About Oregon Beer
By Emily Engdahl
Over 300 beer industry leaders, brewers, and associate members of the Oregon Brewers Guild packed the Melody Ballroom on December 4th to hear Executive Director Brian Butenschoen and President Charlie Deveraux discuss the state of Oregon’s brewing union.
Stemming from the previous creation of 900 new brewery related jobs in Oregon (in 2012), beer continued to leave its mark with a record breaking $31.2 million impact on the Portland economy from the Oregon Brewers Fest alone. With over 85,000 attendees, the 35th annual Brewers Festival rounded out the end of Oregon Craft Beer Month (July 2013) and 250 events celebrating Oregon beer.
Zwicklemania, a state-wide event, encourages breweries to hold “open houses” and allows beer fans a behind the scenes look at many of their favorite watering holes. Ninety breweries participated in 2013, inviting over 30,700 people into breweries across Oregon. Slated for February 15, the Oregon Brewers Guild is partnering with Travel Portland to bring even more people to the beer.
Oregon’s hop crop helped Oregon brewers create over 100 fresh hop beers in 2013, showcased across the state in six distinct Fresh Hop festivals. Eugene, Sisters, Independence, Hood River, St. Paul and Portland all hosted fresh hop beer fests, and Director Butenschoen was quick to point out that Oregonians are unique and extraordinarily lucky to reside in one of the only regions worldwide where fresh hop beers are even possible.
With additional events throughout the year including Cheers to Belgian Beers Fest and the Brewers Malt Ball, the Oregon Brewers Guild continues to support Oregon brewers and educate consumers about craft beer offerings. The hard work of the Guild pays off, as craft beer in July 2013 saw more than $7.3 million in Oregon sales.
Clearly this is not just a local phenomenon. With 25 medals awarded to Oregon breweries at the Great American Beer Fest, Oregon is the third most winning state in the country - a feat that is evidenced by the superb beers brewed by superb brewers.
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.