The Oregon Brewers Guild announced that Oregonians bought more than 500,000 barrels of beer produced in Oregon in 2013, setting a new record in Oregon craft beer history and leading the U.S. in percentage of dollars spent on craft beer. Oregon’s breweries crafted a little more than 1,400,000 barrels of beer during 2013, an 8 percent increase from the previous year. Oregon employment figures continue to strengthen, with the state’s brewing companies adding more than 200 jobs in 2013 and directly employing more than 6,600 people.
“We live in a unique state where we have the largest number of breweries per capita and also the highest percentage of dollars spent on craft beer in the U.S.,” says Brian Butenschoen, executive director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. “Oregon is also a destination for beer tourists where in Bend, 40 percent of its visitors said visiting a brewery or doing the Ale Trail was something they did when they visited. We have a city that just launched the fourth Ale Trail in Oregon in Eugene with the Eugene Ale Trail. Hood River has a brewery for every 1,433 residents and Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world.”
In addition to strengthening the local economy, Oregon’s 161 brewing companies donated to community non-profits in 2013, equaling $2,300,000. Retail sales of Oregon-made beer sold in the state totaled more than $400 million in 2013. In total, the brewing industry contributes $2.83 billion to the state’s economy and employs roughly 29,000 people directly and indirectly.
Currently, Oregon has 172 brewing companies operating 213 brewing facilities in 70 cities across the state. There are 21 in Bend, 30 in Central Oregon, 12 in Eugene, 55 breweries in Portland and 75 in the Portland metro area.
More than 18 percent of the 2.803 million barrels of all beer — both bottled and draft — consumed in the state were made in Oregon. For draft beer, that percentage is even higher, with Oregon breweries producing an estimated 53 percent of all draft beer consumed in Oregon. Outside of the United States, Oregon breweries exported 19,500 barrels to 29 countries including six Canadian provinces. Craft beer production in the U.S. grew 18 percent in 2013 and now represents 7.8 percent of the total volume of beer brewed in the United States.
IRi Worldwide states that Portland continues to lead in the U.S. for percentage of dollars spent on craft beer with 38.69 percent share for the first quarter of 2014. Craft beer has continuously been the largest beer category for dollars spent on beer in grocery stores in the Portland and Oregon markets since October 2010.