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Economic Impact of San Diego Craft Brewing - 2015 Update (February 2015)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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SAN DIEGO – Craft breweries and brewpubs in San Diego generated a $600 million economic impact in 2014, according to a new analysis published today by the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR).

San Diego’s craft brewing industry has undergone a rapid expansion over the last few years. As craft breweries take a growing share of national beer sales, San Diego brewpubs and breweries have noticeably increased production, creating jobs and new tasting rooms throughout the region. Using survey data and business records from late- 2014, NUSIPR has updated its analysis of the industry’s impact on San Diego.

Overall, we found that:

• Craft brewing’s economic impact has grown substantially. The industry’s economic value to the region has doubled in the last three years, from an estimated $300 million ($299.5) in 2011 to $600 million ($599.4) in 2014. This surpasses the estimated economic impact of the 2015 Super Bowl to the Arizona state economy ($500 million).

• Industry job growth has soared. San Diego breweries and brewpubs directly created 3,752 jobs in 2014, and overall created or sustained 6,203 jobs that year, a 122% increase since 2011 (2,796 jobs). Year-to-year growth has mostly been driven by the expansion efforts of larger breweries.

• The number of breweries and brewpubs has more than doubled. At the end of 2014, there were 97 breweries and brewpubs in San Diego County, a 165% increase from 2011’s tally (37). Growth is driven both by new enterprises as well as additional expansions of established breweries and brewpubs.

• Total annual industry sales have reached more than $847 million. This figure reflects more than a $90 million increase from 2013 ($752 million) and a $160 million increase since 2011 ($681 million).

“San Diego’s craft breweries have made significant inroads in the marketplace, and that’s good for the regional economy,” remarked NUSIPR Senior Policy Analyst Vince Vasquez, the author of the analysis. “To foster greater industry development, local elected officials and business community leaders should build more working relationships with breweries and brewpubs. Long-term, industry issues that will need to be addressed on the local level include water usage and land use policy.”