Craft breweries in Maine continued to grow in number and in output in 2017 and are likely to do so for the foreseeable future, a new economic impact study found.
Breweries and related activities by their suppliers and employees contributed a total of $260.4 million to the Maine economy in 2017, up from $225 million in 2016, according to a report released Wednesday by the Maine Brewers’ Guild and the University of Maine School of Economics.
That translates into $1.5 million in excise taxes, $168 million in beer sold and 2,560 jobs with a total of $54.8 million in wages. Most of that, roughly 1,910 workers, was direct employment, up from 1,600 in 2016. Another 650 jobs were attributed to the multiplier effect of expenditures by brewery suppliers and employees.
“Maine continues to see growth in the craft beer industry at a rate that has outpaced the national growth of craft breweries,” Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild in South Portland, said. “There were 62 craft breweries in the state in 2015 and more than 135 at the end of 2018. That’s about double in three years.” In 2017 there were 114 breweries, up from 85 in 2016.
Nationally, the number of breweries grew 16 percent in 2017 compared to 34 percent in Maine. The Pine Tree State saw 19 breweries open between January 2017 and January 2018. Cumberland County still had the largest number of breweries at 46 at the end of 2018 compared to 37 in 2017.
Penobscot, York and Knox counties have significant numbers of new breweries. Penobscot had 12 breweries at the end of 2018, up from one in 2007. York had 18, up from two in 2007 and Knox had seven, up from zero in 2007.