Using data from the 2010 U.S. Census, the Brewers Association, a Boulder, Colo.-based trade group, reports that Vermont has the highest per-capita number of breweries, with one for every 29,797 people. North Carolina ranks 28th among the states, with one brewery for every 199,010 people.
The association offers these tallies for U.S. breweries that were in operation for all or some of 2011:
Total U.S. breweries: 1,989 Brewpubs: 1,063 Microbreweries: 789 Regional craft breweries: 88 Total U.S. craft breweries: 1,938 Large noncraft breweries: 21 Other: 30
Craft breweries sold an estimated 11,468,152 barrels of beer in 2011. A barrel contains 31 gallons, so that means that 2,844,101,696 pints of beer were sold that year.
Brewing in North Carolina
According to the ABC Commission of North Carolina, the Tar Heel state boasts 60 breweries.
Seventeen operate in Western North Carolina, and five more — including Sierra Nevada in Mills River and Oskar Blues in Brevard — will open in the near future.
Eleven of N.C.’s breweries are currently located in Asheville, and once New Belgium begins brewing in the River Arts District, that number will grow to 12. According to data from the 2010 Census, the city’s per capita beer quotient is quite high, with roughly one brewery for every 8,000 people.
Will work for beer: New Belgium and Sierra Nevada
New Belgium will invest an estimated $175 million in Asheville over a seven-year span.
According to projections, the company will create 154 new jobs, with the average annual salary expected to exceed $50,000 plus benefits.
In addition to the jobs created by the company itself, an estimated 260 jobs will be indirectly created. Those additional jobs will generate an estimated $18.3 million in new labor income.
Construction for the new brewery will create an estimated 1,250 jobs, generating an estimated $40 million in new labor income.
During the first seven years, New Belgium will pay a combined total of $1.6 mil- lion in property taxes to Buncombe County and the city of Asheville.
At this point, somewhat less data is available regarding the economic impact Sierra Nevada will bring, but here are some projections:
The company plans to invest $107.5 million in Henderson County during the next five years. It expects to create 95 full-time and 80 part-time jobs for its operation in Mills River, and an additional 60 construction and mechanical jobs to get the brewery off the ground.