Craft brewers contributed $33.9 billion to the U.S. economy last year, including $1.2 billion in Ohio, the Brewers Association said Monday in a new study.
The Colorado-based trade group estimated the economic impact by examining breweries, wholesalers and retailers, and also factored in non-beer products such as food and merchandise sold at brewpubs and brewery taprooms.
Overall, the craft industry supports 363,703 jobs nationwide, including 10,731 in Ohio, the study says.
The Buckeye State has nearly 90 craft brewers ranging from tiny operations such as Meniru Meadery & Brewery in Jackson Township to a Samuel Adams brewery in Cincinnati.
The big numbers didn’t surprise Eli Smart, owner and brewer at Trailhead Brewery in Akron.
The craft beer industry has attracted a loyal following for a reason, he said.
“Everyone wants to drink local,” Smart said. “Everyone wants to try something new and unique.”
Ohio ranked eighth nationwide in terms of economic impact. California was tops with $4.6 billion.
Others that ranked above Ohio were: Texas ($2.3 billion), New York ($2.1 billion), Pennsylvania ($1.9 billion), Colorado ($1.6 billion), Illinois ($1.3 billion) and Oregon ($1.2 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 in a prepared statement.
The study also says that the average wage tied with craft brewers is $33,164 in Ohio, just below the nationwide average of $33,806.
Earlier this year, the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association estimated that the Ohio beer industry contributed $10 billion to the state and U.S. economies.
That Beer Serves America study, though, included Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, which operate breweries in Columbus and Trenton, respectively.
For more details on the study, go online to www.brewersassociation.org.