Craft Beer – $1 Billion Impact on Washington’s Economy

According to a study conducted by the Brewers Association*, craft beer is a big part of Washington’s economy. In fact, the study concluded that the economic impact of craft beer on the local economy is more than $1 billion annually.

You probably don’t spend a lot of time wondering about the economic impact of craft beer on the local and national economies. You just like to drink beer, right? Still, it is interesting. To those fighting for the preservation and prosperity of the industry, the numbers are particularly valuable: our representatives in Olympia should consider these numbers before they haphazardly wage economic warfare on one of the state’s only growth industries, as they tried to do when creating the last budget and likely will do when creating the next.

Nationwide, the Brewers Association report measures the economic impact of craft beer at $33,893,694,000. That is almost $34 billion. Craft beer is responsible for 363,703 jobs. Labor income from those jobs is $12,295,257,928.

In Washington, the economic impact of craft beer is measured at $1,006,558,000. Regional employment, over 13,000 jobs. Average wage, $33,737. Labor income from those jobs, $443,572,000.

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Washington ranks 10th in the nation in terms of overall economic impact, mostly behind much more populous states like California, Texas and New York. Others in the top 10 include Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Oregon.

For the sake of comparison, let’s look at a couple other states. In California, which has the most breweries of any state in the country, the economic impact is measured at $4.4 billion and over 44,000 jobs. In Montana, $233,681,000 and 3,221 jobs.

These numbers are based on a study conducted by the Brewers Association. Note that this is a bit of a time capsule: the results were drawn from 2012 numbers. That is, it’s a measure of the impact back in 2012.

This study was based on two national surveys conducted by the Brewers Association. The data obtained in these surveys were then analyzed to examine the roles and impressions of craft brewers in the national and state economies, taking into account the impact it has across the production, distribution, and sales lifecycle. Read more about the report methodologies here.

To see the complete list of state-by-state results, click here.

*About the Brewers Association: The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. Learn more at


  1. Hey, Drop Anchor Brewery has giving to our community a new social engagement area. No surprise to see many of our residents congratulating one another for their good taste in Beer and Fun. 🙂 <3

  2. With the successful establishment of the Drop Anchor Brewery at the Cathlamet Marina the door has been opened for more businesses to anchor their business at our beautiful marina and in our beautiful community!

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