According to a new analysis by the Brewers Association (BA), small and independent American craft brewers contributed $33.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012. This figure is derived from the total impact of beer brewed by craft brewers as it moves through the three-tier system, as well as all non-beer products that brewpub restaurants sell.

“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,” said Bart Watson, staff economist for the BA, in a statement. “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.”

In addition to the national impact, the BA examined output of the craft brewing industry by state, as well as the state economic contribution per capita for adults of legal drinking age.

Top Five States (2012)


 2012 Output

1. California

2. Texas

3. New York

4. Pennsylvania

5. Colorado

$4.7 billion

$2.3 billion

$2.2 billion

$2.0 billion

$1.6 billion

(Click here to see an infographic of the breakdown)

Top Five States in Per Capita (Age 21+) Output  (2012):


 2012 Output/Capita

1. Oregon

2. Colorado

3. Vermont

4. Maine

5. Montana






(Click here to see an infographic of the breakdown)

For some or all of 2012, 2,347 craft breweries — including 1,132 brewpubs, 1,118 microbreweries and 97 regional craft breweries — operated in the United States. During this timeframe, craft brewers sold an estimated 13,235,917 barrels of beer, with a retail dollar value estimated at $11.9 billion, an update from previous estimations based on new data. The industry also provided more than 360,000 jobs, with 108,440 jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs, including serving staff at brewpubs.

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