Ohio’s independent craft breweries generated a total economic impact of $967 million in 2018, up 39% from 2015 figures. The study, commissioned by the Ohio Craft Brewers Association (OCBA) and conducted by Silverlode Consulting, reports a marked increase in economic impact, industry jobs, wages, and federal, state and local taxes among Ohio’s craft breweries.
Ohio’s craft beer industry continues to experience significant growth. An economic impact study of the industry in 2015 that was completed by The Ohio State University found that there were 135 craft brewers in the State producing an estimated 1.2 million barrels of beer annually. Today, there are 300 craft brewers producing an estimated 1.4 million barrels annually.
Approximately 50 new Ohio craft breweries opened in 2018, which represents a nearly 17% increase in just one year. An additional 65 breweries are currently known to be in planning. Further, according to a recent survey of OCBA’s members, which was completed by approximately 140 brewers, more than 100 (over two-thirds of the survey respondents) stated that their brewery plans to expand production within the next two years and more than 80 (over half of respondents) plan facility expansions within the next two years.
“Beer is big business in Ohio and our state’s independent craft breweries continue to grow at an impressive rate,” said OCBA executive director Mary MacDonald. “The study results are proof that craft breweries are a powerful catalyst helping communities and partner industries flourish. The full-time labor force in the craft brewing industry has more than doubled over the past three years. As craft breweries grow and mature, we’ve seen a marked increase in hiring for manufacturing jobs in the brewhouse, sales positions, marketing and finance, business administration and other professional jobs. Small businesses fuel the economy, and craft breweries continue to generate substantial impact to the state of Ohio.”
In addition to the economic and fiscal impacts, OCBA also set out to measure how independent craft breweries give back to their communities. Survey respondents reported charitable donations of $1.15 million on behalf of their breweries, and an additional 15,000 hours of volunteer service by brewery owners and employees.
The craft brewing industry as a whole (including breweries based out-of-state) generated an economic impact of $2.67 billion in Ohio in 2017, the last year that numbers were available from the Brewers Association.