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by Mike Laur
April 24, 2012
A new study done on behalf of the Colorado Brewer's Guild by the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business was released today, and says that craft beer is a Big Deal to the state economy.

According to the report, Colorado craft beer provides an annual $446 million boost to the state's economy. The report states, "With a vast supply chain that includes hop growers, barley farmers, stainless steel fabricators, transporters, and brewers, the Colorado craft brewing industry is a significant employer in the state of Colorado. The industry is a major contributor to household wealth, the standard of living, and to state and local government revenues."

"Colorado craft brewing creates a dynamic impact on the Colorado economy," said John Carlson, CBG Executive Director. "Explosive growth continues to have a huge economic effect on the state, with no sign of slowing down... Craft brewers are on a double-digit growth trajectory, and the potential for new job creation is expected to climb even higher," said Carlson.

The study found that Colorado craft brewers employ over 5800 people directly and indirectly, with high potential for many more jobs. Jeff Lockhart, head brewer at Royal Gorge Brewing and participant in the study, says that even small operations can have a big impact on local economies. "When you look at how many people are employed at a small brewpub like ours - maybe 15 now, and up to 25 during summer - multiply that by how many breweries are opening soon around the state. Employing that many people is significant in a place like Canon City."

Collectively, Colorado brewers contributed nearly $446 million in output in 2011, with an estimated additional $9 million going to the state in the form of a special State of Colorado beer excise tax. The report summarizes:

"From its employment of thousands of Coloradans, to its substantial contributions to local and state government revenues, the brewing industry continues to be a crucial component to the state economy. As the desire to embrace local, flavorful beer continues, Colorado's brewing sector promotes tourism, technical innovation, environmental stewardship, job creation and economic growth."
Photos by Mike Laur BDG2C
Brewer's economic impact reaches far beyond the brewpub - from aluminum can manufacturer Ball Corporation in Broomfield to barley growers in the San Luis Valley.
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