DELAWARE, Ohio — JUNE 08: A flight of four craft beers on the bar, June 8, 2023, at Restoration Brew Worx in Delaware, Ohio. (Photo by Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal. Republish photo only with original story.)
Raise a glass to Ohio beer.
Ohio’s 420 breweries brought in $1.27 billion to the state’s economy last year and employed a little more than 12,000 people, according to the Ohio Craft Brewers Association’s 2022 Economic and Fiscal Impact of Ohio’s Craft Brewing Industry.
The Buckeye State’s craft beer industry is booming, producing 1.29 million barrels last year.
Forty-four new Ohio breweries opened last year and 64 additional breweries are in the works, according to OCBA’s report.
The number of Ohio breweries has grown almost 18% in the last two years, from 357 in 2020 to 420 in 2022. There were only an estimated 45 Ohio craft breweries in 2011, according to the Brewers Association, a national craft brewing trade association.
Nationally, Ohio ranks sixth in craft beer production volume and sixth in economic impact in 2021, according to the Brewers Association’s Annual Production Report.
Ohio’s craft beer industry is spread across the state.
- The Northwest region has 57 craft breweries that produced 23,000 barrels of beer for an economic impact of $54.7 million.
- The Greater Cleveland has 60 craft breweries that produce 214,000 barrels of beer for an economic impact of $237.7 million.
- The Northeast region has 82 craft breweries that brewed 46,000 barrels of beer for an economic impact of $123.1 million.
- The Central region has 68 craft breweries that produced 149,000 barrels of beer for an economic impact of $201.7 million.
- The West Central has 36 breweries that produced 21,000 barrels of beer for an economic impact of $46.7 million.
- The Southwest region has 74 craft breweries that produced 773,000 barrels of beer for an economic impact of $470.4 million.
- The Southeast region has 43 craft breweries that produced 31,000 barrels of beer for an economic impact of $136.3 million.
This report comes as a new coalition of Ohio brewers argue provisions in state law are impeding the industry’s growth, particularly a 1974’s Ohio Alcoholic Beverages Franchise Act which makes it tough to dissolve a wholesale contract.
Ohio law allows brewers making less than a million barrels a year to self-distribute, but that can be quite the herculean effort if you are a brewer down in Cincinnati trying to get in the market in Cleveland or Toledo.
“Public support for small breweries doesn’t start and end in the taproom,” said Mary MacDonald, OCBA’s executive director. “Ohio craft beer lovers also need to make their voices heard as we continue to fight for common sense reform of antiquated alcohol laws that punish small breweries.”
Follow OCJ Reporter Megan Henry on Twitter.
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