Cabarrus County breweries tapping into a $3.8 billion industry in North Carolina

The recent news of High Branch Brewing and Cabarrus Brewing Co. opening at Gibson Mill  in Concord shows how much the North Carolina brewery scene continues to grow.

The North Carolina beer industry has a $3.8 billion impact on the state’s economy, contributes more than 26,000 direct jobs and generates more than $2 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue.

The data is included in a new Beer Serves America study  conducted by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

In North Carolina, beer accounts for 26,480 “direct economic impact” jobs, which the study breaks into three areas:  Brewing, 1,347; distributing, 4,070; and retail sales, 21,063.

North Carolina has 130 breweries with more on the way.  The largest N.C. brewery is the MillerCoors plant in Eden which employs 522 persons with an average compensation package of more than $100,000.

On a national level, the U.S. beer industry contributes $252.6 billion in economic output which is equal to about 1.5 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.  Federal, state and local taxes amounted to more than $48.5 billion in 2014.

Brewers and beer importers directly employ 49,576 Americans.  More than 70 percent of brewing jobs are linked to large and mid-sized brewers and beer importers.  Meanwhile, the number of distributor jobs has increased by more than 20 percent in the last decade, to more than 131,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Independent beer distributors provide significant economic benefits in their communities through local business-to-business commerce, investments in local infrastructure and capital assets, along with tax revenue,” said Tim Kent, executive director of the North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “Independent beer distributors provide services that improve efficiency for trading partners, especially small brewers and retailers, and they ensure fair prices and a broad selection of products for consumers to enjoy.”