Bucking National Trends The San Diego Craft Beer Biz Impresses

San Diego is more than living up to its reputation as the ‘Capital of Craft.’ While beer revenue in the US have slowed to a meager 1.6 percent and with California beer sales basically flat, San Diego County’s craft beer industry generated an impressive $802 million last year!

In an upcoming report commissioned by the San Diego Brewers Guild that will be released in full during San Diego Beer Week, (Nov 2nd-11th), it was revealed that in the face of almost insane competition and rising production costs ,San Diego’s craft breweries are generating great beer and serious bucks.

At the 2018 San Diego Craft Beer Economic Impact Summit held earlier this week, the report’s authors Todd Ashley a California State University San Marcos business professor and Todd Colburn, a craft brewery marketer and adjunct professor at the University, shared some of the report’s preliminary findings.

And here’s some of its highlights….

  • San Diego still ranks as the top county in the nation for craft beer, with more than 130 independent brewing locations.
  • San Diego County craft brewers produced an economic impact of about $1.1 billion in output and generated about $802 million in revenue for 2017, up from $638 million during 2016…
  • This number is triple the amount of revenue generated by the San Diego Padres last year and triple the impact of Balboa Park and all of its associated activities (i.e. museums, attractions, convention activities, the zoo, etc.) in San Diego.
  • Local craft brewers produced over 1.1 million barrels of beer last year, up from 900,000 barrels in 2016.
  • Recent decreases in federal beer excise taxes have freed dollars for craft brewers to reinvest in their businesses and in the community.
  • San Diego independent craft brewers’ philanthropic contributions totaled $4.9 million in 2017, supporting more than 200 nonprofit organizations in the county and 500-plus nonprofit organizations in California.

San Diego County currently accounts for more than one-third of all craft beer sales in California (36.9%) and according to findings in the upcoming San Diego Craft Beer Economic Impact Report its generating big bucks and bucking state and national beer trends at the same time.

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