SAN DIEGO – Craft breweries and brewpubs in San Diego generated a $600 million economic impact in 2014, according to a new analysis published today by the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR).
San Diego’s craft brewing industry has undergone a rapid expansion over the last few years. As craft breweries take a growing share of national beer sales, San Diego brewpubs and breweries have noticeably increased production, creating jobs and new tasting rooms throughout the region. Using survey data and business records from late- 2014, NUSIPR has updated its analysis of the industry’s impact on San Diego.
Overall, we found that:
- Craft brewing’s economic impact has grown substantially. The industry’s economic value to the region has doubled in the last three years, from an estimated $300 million ($299.5) in 2011 to $600 million ($599.4) in 2014. This surpasses the estimated economic impact of the 2015 Super Bowl to the Arizona state economy ($500 million).
- Industry job growth has soared. San Diego breweries and brewpubs directly created 3,752 jobs in 2014, and overall created or sustained 6,203 jobs that year, a 122% increase since 2011, when the industry directly employed 1,630 workers and created or sustained 2,796 jobs. Year-to-year growth has mostly been driven by the expansion efforts of larger breweries.
- The number of breweries and brewpubs has more than doubled. At the end of 2014, there were 97 breweries and brewpubs in San Diego County, a 165% increase from 2011’s tally (37). Growth is driven both by new enterprises as well as additional expansions of established breweries and brewpubs.
- Total annual industry sales have reached more than $847 million. This figure reflects more than a $90 million increase from 2013 ($752 million) and a $160 million increase since 2011 ($681 million).
“San Diego’s craft breweries have made significant inroads in the marketplace, and that’s good for the regional economy,” remarked NUSIPR Senior Policy Analyst Vince Vasquez, the author of the analysis. “To foster greater industry development, local elected officials and business community leaders should build more working relationships with breweries and brewpubs. Long-term, industry issues that will need to be addressed on the local level include water usage and land use policy.”
The full version of the craft brewing analysis can be found at the NUSIPR website,
About the National University System Institute for Policy Research
The National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that formulates and promotes high quality economic policy, and public opinion research so as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local governments in San Diego County and to improve the quality of life enjoyed by the region’s residents.
NUSIPR publishes regular independent research and analysis for the public on a range of topics, including unemployment, business growth, and the San Diego housing market. The Institute also works collaboratively with clients to develop high quality research products that are tailored to their policy needs.
This report was conducted by West Coaster contributor Vince Vasquez. He is a Senior Policy Analyst for the National University System Institute for Policy Research and has previously published reports on the economic impact of craft beer in the region.