Study: Craft brewing had $300M economic impact on San Diego area in 2011

SAN DIEGO - Craft breweries and brewpubs in San Diego had a $299.5 million economic impact on the region in 2011, according to a study released Monday by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

Craft brewing has been one of San Diego's fastest-growing business sectors, and the number of craft breweries in the area has more than doubled in the last two years, according to the report. Local beer companies have won industry acclaim and generated widespread public interest.

The report said the economic impact of the industry is 1 1/2 times that of Comic-Con International, San Diego's largest trade show, which had an impact of $180 million.

"San Diego's craft brewing industry is a major economic driver in the region," remarked NUSIPR Senior Policy Analyst Vince Vasquez, who authored the study. "That said, more partnerships and investment will be needed to advance industry development long-term. Competitor markets are also experiencing similar growth and interest in new brewpubs and breweries."

With more breweries and established businesses opening in multiple locations, the 2012 economic impact should be greater, he said.

He said local small breweries employ around 500 workers, with another 1,100 or so working at brewpubs.

The industry has also been a draw for tourism, according to Vasquez.

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