The craft beer industry continues to remain a strong contributor to the growth of the U.S. economy, according to a report released by the Brewers Association. The 2018 Economic Impact Report by the Brewers Association states that small and independent craft brewers added $79.1 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018, which is about 0.4 percent of the nation's gross domestic product or GDP. This represents a 4 percent increase from 2017. The figure has been derived from the total impact of beer brewed by craft brewers as it moves through a three-tier system of breweries, wholesalers, and retailers. It also includes all non-beer products such as food and merchandise sold in brewpub restaurants and brewery taprooms.
The Brewers Association is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers. According to the report, the craft brewing industry was responsible for 559,545 jobs last year, with 150,055 jobs directly at breweries. In addition, the industry provided more than $5 billion in wages and benefits to brewery employees through the year.
The top states benefited from the highest contribution from craft breweries were California with $9.0 billion followed by Pennsylvania with $6.3 billion. Craft breweries contributed $5.1 billion to Texas' economy. New York and Florida rounded out the top five states. Colorado ranked first among the states that received the highest contribution per capita from craft breweries with $780, followed by Vermont with $756, and Oregon with $674. Pennsylvania and Maine were took the fourth and fifth spots. However, the craft beer industry is seeing slowing growth in the U.S. as the market reaches saturation and consumers explore other types of alcohol beverages. Global climate change is also making it harder to produce beer's key ingredients such as barley, hops and water.