Looking to jump start a stagnant economy? Look no further than beer. Craft breweries, as we know, create a ton of jobs, both inside their own walls and in the industries adjacent to them. Just in Colorado alone, the economic impact of craft beer was measured at $1.7 billion. But no need to confine those economic reports to just the pro ranks. Homebrewing is one of the most popular hobbies in the country, and the dedication to the craft has a similar economic ripple effect.
Just think for a second about the estimated 1.2 million homebrewers out there, heading to homebrew shops to buy ingredients and supplies and do the math. Actually, don’t do the math because math is way too complicated and best left to experts like Bart Watson, chief economist and all-around smart guy at the Brewers Association.
First off, the nation’s 815 homebrew shops showed a collective revenue estimate of $764 million. Pretty good chunk of change, but Watson says there is much more to consider in that downstream ripple, such as homebrewers buying supplies and equipment beyond homebrew shop walls as well as traveling to events. As Watson puts it:
Given those adjustments, $1 billion in spending is probably a conservative estimate, with 80%-90% going directly to homebrewing equipment and the rest going to other activities directly related to the activity. To estimate the total impact of that spending, we need to think about all the other ripples those dollars create. Equipment suppliers buy raw materials to make the equipment. Homebrewing shops employ people, and those employees spend money. This is called the “multiplier effect.” Retail multipliers are typically lower than those in manufacturing industries, but they can still add 20% to the total impact.
Here are the final results after Watson factored in all of his smart stuff into a software:
• The model estimates the total impact of homebrewing at $1.225 billion in 2015.
• In addition, it estimates that homebrewing created 11,672 jobs in the United States.