The beer industry is huge. Everywhere you turn, you can find an ad for Budweiser, Miller, and many other breweries. What about craft breweries? How much do they impact the economy? According to studies by the Brewers Association and Texas Craft Brewers Guild, Texas craft breweries contributed $608 million in 2011 and $2.3 billion in 2012 to the Texas economy. The impact of breweries in Texas is expected to reach $5.6 billion by the end of the decade.
At the end of 2011, there were 78 actively licensed breweries in the state (up from 52 in 2010). The expansion of craft breweries in North Texas since then has gone up even more, with roughly 20 breweries producing or in planning stages to build.
In 2012, Texas ranked second in brewery economic impact (following only California, $4.7 billion). It ranked third in labor income produced and fourth in number of employees related to the craft brewing industry. While those are impressive stats, there are 2 things that need to be taken into account: Texas craft beer only accounts for 12.3% of craft beer and only 0.7% of all beer consumed in Texas, and Texas ranks in the bottom 10 states in breweries per capita.
Now, what does this mean for Texas craft beers, especially in North Texas? A lot, simply. With one of the highest populations in the state and enough land to build on, breweries in North Texas have an extreme amount of potential. The owner of Franconia Brewing Co. in McKinney named his brewery after an area that has the highest density of breweries in the world, and he wants to see North Texas become something similar. Brewers in this area are very close knit and pride themselves in producing great beers. More breweries means higher recognition of the area and higher sales for everyone. For this area, it also means more economic impact and more jobs.
Bottom line: Don’t underestimate the power of a good brew.