Texas Craft Beer Contributes $2.3 Billion To State Economy In 2012

December 19, 2013

Topping 48 other states, the Texas craft beer industry contributed over $2.3 billion dollars to the Texas economy according to a study just released by the Brewers Association(BA), a national non-profit trade association representing independent craft breweries in the United States.

Texas ranked number two nationwide, trailing only California, in the study of the impact craft breweries have on state economies. The study tracked craft beer as it flows through the three-tier system (from manufacturer, to distributor and to the retail tier), along with other items, such as food and merchandise, that are sold in brewpubs and brewery taprooms.

The Brewers Association’s findings echo a 2012 study analyzing the economic impact of craft brewing in Texas, commissioned by the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, a Texas-based, non-profit trade association representing the majority of Texas craft breweries for advocacy and promotion of Texas craft beer. The Guild’s study conservatively projected a potential economic impact of $5.6 billion by 2020.

According to the BA study, the Texas craft brewing industry delivered impressive results:

  • #2 ranking nationwide in overall economic impact with $2.3 billion for 2012.
  • #3 ranking for labor income produced from craft breweries through direct and indirect economic impact.
  • #4 ranking for number of employees (FTEs) related to the craft brewing industry.

The BA study also ranked Texas 34thnationally for economic impact on a per capita basis for adults 21 or older in the state.  This finding clearly demonstrates that while Texas ranks among the leaders when assessing raw economic impact, there remains significant room for growth for the Texas craft beer industry.

Courtesy of the Brewers Association

Not only that, but the Texas Craft Brewers Guild expects the economic impact of the Texas craft beer industry to expand even further, thanks to legislative changes passed in 2013 on the state level.

“Recently passed legislation is enabling packaging breweries and brewpubs alike greater flexibility for accessing craft beer markets and selling craft beer in Texas,” says Charles Vallhonrat, Executive Director of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. “Current and past studies have yet to take these changes into account,” he continues. “We could be on the verge of a substantial leap forward for Texas craft beer.”

In fact, changes based on the recent legislation have already begun to take place in breweries throughout the state.  Many breweries have extended their taproom hours and have begun to sell pints of their specialty or seasonal beers that were usually not offered in the past to visitors who came for a brewery tour.  “We are now able to expand the beers that we offer to our over 100,000 visitors per year to include rare special release and barrel aged beers not easily found in the market,” said Brock Wagner, Founder of Saint Arnold Brewing Company in Houston.

Courtesy of the Brewers Association

Also, with the greater flexibility afforded brewpubs by the recent legislation, a number of traditional packaging breweries are considering changing their license to that of a brewpub.  Jester King Brewery out of Austin, changed to a brewpub license earlier this year.  “We want visitors to Jester King to have the same experience they would visiting a Texas winery or a brewery in another state,” said Ron Extract, co-owner/brewer at Jester King Brewery. “We want them to be able to tour our brewery, drink small pours or full glasses of our beer while at the brewery, and should they so desire, purchase bottles of our beer to take home with them. By changing our license to a brewpub, we are now able to offer this full experience, while still maintaining distribution to our retail accounts.”

“The Texas Craft Brewers Guild applauds the work of the 83rd Texas legislative session,” says Vallhonrat. “We believe Texas is well on its way to being a leader in craft beer as well as a craft beer destination for those visiting Texas from out of state and abroad.”