DENVER
04/24/2012 03:45 pm ET | Updated Apr 25, 2012

Colorado Brewers Guild Finds Colorado Craft Beer Industry Injects $446 Million Into State Economy Each Year

How big is beer in Colorado? Pretty big. Scratch that: gigantic.

An April 21st release from the Colorado Brewers Guild estimates the economic impact of the entire industry on the state economy (Coors and Budweiser included) rings in at a jaw-dropping $18.5 billion. Even after removing components only tangentially related to brewing (impacts from suppliers, etc.) the direct annual impact is still estimated at a little over $7.8 billion dollars in the state every year, and growing.

On April 24, the Colorado Brewers Guild released a study focused exclusively on the economic impacts of craft beer (leaving out heavyweights such as Coors). The study determined that craft brewing in Colorado provides a $446 million boost to the state economy each year. The Denver Business Journal adds that craft brewers in the state produce only 4.6 percent of the total beer in Colorado.

"Colorado craft brewing creates a dynamic impact on the Colorado economy," said John Carlson, CBG Executive Director, in a news release. “Explosive growth continues to have a huge economic effect on the state, with no sign of slowing down.”

The study, conducted by the University of Colorado Business Research Division for the Colorado Brewers Guild, also found craft brewers have created nearly 6,000 jobs in the state.

“With 139 craft breweries and more on the way, we are the envy of the nation when it comes to brewing-up a dynamic beer culture,” said Dave Thibodeau, CBG president and founder of Ska Brewing in Durango, in a press release. “CBG brewers are the catalyst for creating an electric beer culture, while contributing to entrepreneurial activity, and spurring beer tourism throughout the state.”

As of March 2012, Colorado boasted 139 licensed craft brewers with an additional 75 in various planning stages.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated the craft brewing industry in Colorado provides an annual $714 million in revenue. Citing a "math error," the Colorado Brewers Guild has lowered that estimate to $446 million.

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