Media report on UMaine, Maine Brewers’ Guild study on craft beer industry

The Portland Press Herald, Maine Public and Mainebiz reported on a new study released by the Maine Brewers’ Guild and conducted by the University of Maine School of Economics. The report is projecting growth of nearly 40 percent next year as the number of Maine’s craft brewers continues to increase, according to Maine Public. Maine breweries added $228 million to the state’s economy last year, and employed more than 1,600 workers, according to estimates based on survey responses from guild members. The estimated total revenue of Maine brewers was more than $150 million in 2016, a 17 percent increase from 2013, according to the report. “I wasn’t expecting to see the level of economic impact we found,” said Andrew Crawley, a UMaine economist who co-wrote the report. “If it continues at this pace, it will start to overtake some more established industries. We are going to see craft brewing right up there as a major part of the state’s industrial makeup.” Crawley told the Press Herald that a big surprise for him was the geographic reach of craft breweries. “The north and central Maine is where people are talking about significant expansions, and that is a positive economic sign of the industry growing across the state,” Crawley said. “It is really good to see the impact it is having in places where there have been decline.”