Brew Diligence: The Growth of Craft Beer in the Southeast

Volume 16, Number 2
May–August 2014

peopleCraft beer has finally taken off in the Southeast, which is benefiting the region's taste buds and the economy. Staff writer Lela Somoza explored the growing industry in the May—August edition of EconSouth.

The southeastern states boasted nearly 160 craft breweries and brewpubs at the end of 2013, up roughly 20 percent from the previous year, according to the Brewers Association. That's a small share of the more than 2,700 small brewers nationwide, which collectively sold more than $14.3 billion worth of beer last year. However, despite its relatively small size, the region's craft beer industry had an economic impact of $2.8 billion and was responsible for about 31,000 jobs.

Of course, the industry is small in part because it's still relatively young in the Southeast. Small brewers also face a number of hurdles that have held back more robust growth. For instance, in addition to high start-up costs, would-be brewers also face stringent regulations such as those preventing breweries from selling their products directly to consumers.

To learn more about the region's brewing craft beer industry, read the full story in the May—August issue of EconSouth.