National University

Study Finds Beer is Big Business in San Diego

NUSIPR estimates an almost $300 million annual impact

 An independent study released in April by the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) finds that the craft beer industry in San Diego accounted for an estimated $299.5 million in wages, capital expenses and contracts in 2011 -- the last year with complete statistics.

 “The economic impact of our breweries is more than one-and-a-half times larger than Comic-Con,” said Vince Vasquez, a senior policy analyst with National University.

Local breweries reported another $680.8 million in sales, plus additional hotel and restaurant revenue from people attending annual festivals like the 10-day San Diego Beer Week. They also employ more than 1,100 people.

“San Diego craft beer,” Vasquez said, “is a major economic driver in the region.”

According to the U-T San Diego, the NUSIPR study echoes national and statewide reports, that have highlighted the success of San Diego’s largest breweries. In April, for instance, the Brewers Association released its list of the country’s 50 largest breweries based on sales. Escondido’s Stone ranked 10th, while two San Diegans — Karl Strauss and Ballast Point — were 39th and 46th respectively.

NUSIPR is an independent institute that conducts research and publishes articles, policy briefs, and other materials about regional issues, including municipal government, economic policy, housing, transportation, infrastructure, and fire preparedness. Since its launch in January 2007, it has produced four major policy reports, 12 shorter policy briefs, 12 economic bulletins, 10 public opinion polls, and more than 100 commentaries.