Before we really dig into it, lets handle some overall house keeping in regards to this article. I will be counting Ballast Point and Saint Archer as craft beer for 2015 as they were for the majority of the year. Most of the statistics I will be throwing out come from National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) reports, the Brewers Association resources, and West Coaster SD brewery list and articles. NUSIPR is the leading authority on providing these statistics, the Brewers Association is considered the governing board of craft beer on a national level, and I think we can all agree that West Coaster is a good source for anything regarding San Diego craft beer. If you see any issues with accuracy, do not hesitate to email me or comment below.
2015 was a year of prosperity in SD craft beer. Overall, we saw a 17% increase in the regional economic impact, going from $726.6 million in ’14 to $851 million, a 17.5% gain in total breweries in operation (from 97 to 114), which exceeded the national brewery growth of 15%, and a massive, 20% rise in total jobs, which were at 4,512, up from 3,752; the national average job growth was 5%. There were 17 breweries that opened their doors in ’15, just to add another “17” to this paragraph. Twenty one breweries embarked on or completed major expansions; I’m categorizing opening a satellite tasting room and/or a significant increase in production capacity a major expansion. The biggest expansions of the year were accomplished by Ballast Point and AleSmith. Three breweries also announced plans to build remote locations: Mother Earth in Nampa, ID, Green Flash in Virginia Beach, VA, and Stone Brewing in both Berlin (now online) and Richmond, VA. Continue reading “The State of San Diego Craft Beer – 2015”