The Centennial State’s bedrock of craft brewers is helping make Colorado the most creative and fastest-growing beer market in the United States. That’s according to a 2012 University of Colorado Leeds School of Business study.
“With about 150 craft breweries scattered across almost every county, Colorado has become the state of craft beer,” says the study. “From humble beginnings as a frontier outpost in 1859, Colorado has grown to brew more beer than any other state in the Union. Collectively, Colorado craft brewers contributed at least $446 million in output in 2011. These figures offer clear insight into the highly valuable contributions Colorado’s craft brewing industry provides to the state economy through employment, wages, and overall industrial activity.
Interestingly, Colorado craft beer represents no more than 4.6 percent of beer brewed in Colorado, but it accounts for approximately 6,600 brewery-related jobs in the state. Based on recent numbers, Colorado is second for the most number of breweries per state and is ranked third for the number of breweries per capita by state. Some of the factors influencing craft brewer growth include: lower taxes, increased access to financing, state support for beer tourism, state support for craft brewing, decreased regulation, lower fuel costs, access to brewery equipment, increased hop production and full strength beer sales in grocery stores.
Read the entire study here. It’s pretty much awesome.