Analysis of brewery industry in Asheville shows nearly $1B total output

Press Release from the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County:

The Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County has released a contribution analysis of the brewery industry in the four-county Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, and Madison counties).  Sponsored by McGuire, Wood, & Bissette Law Firm, the study showed breweries and a small cluster of related industries created or supported over 2,500 jobs in the Asheville region in 2016.

Contribution analysis can be used to help show what an existing industry contributes to the local economy.  The study was produced to add quantifiable economic insight on the industry as employment growth has been considerable: 754% from 2011 to 2016 and still adding jobs.  “This was the fastest growth among manufacturing industries in the MSA in the time period,” noted Heidi Reiber, Director of Research for the EDC who conducted the analysis adding, “the study showed approximately 2,571 workers were created or supported in the Asheville MSA.  These workers were paid approximately $111M in labor income as part of companies’ $365 million contribution to Gross Regional Product in 2016.”  Total overall output in the study was estimated at $934 million.  A future study of winery and distillery employment, as well as related impacts of the craft beverage industry on the region’s tourism and hospitality industry could measure far greater impact still.

“We are aware there are more than 35 businesses engaged in brewing in the Asheville region,” stated Rebecca Crandall, Attorney, with McGuire, Wood, & Bissette Law Firm. “The study highlights the considerable talent that has grown the national reputation of the region, and quantifies the important catalytic impact on related professional services and supply chain growth.”

Exemplary of this growth, San-Diego headquartered White Labs celebrated the grand opening of new facilities in Asheville earlier this year.  At full buildout, the world leader in yeast production and fermentation sciences for the brewing and winemaking industries will employ over 65 professionals in Asheville’s growing life sciences sector.  The company also provides analytical services and product related training for industry professionals with plans to open a tasting room and expanded educational facilities in fall of 2017.

“We are pleased to add this data to support what we know about the outstanding brewers in our region,” said Janice Brumit, Board Chair of the EDC.  “Craft Brewing remains an engine for economic growth and regional innovation. These jobs represent opportunity and significant new career paths for residents of the Asheville region and Buncombe County.”

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About Molly Horak
Molly is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and writer for Mountain Xpress. Her work has appeared in the Citizen-Times, News and Observer and Charlotte Observer. Follow me @molly_horak

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