Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Deschutes County: Brewing a New Future

Since the start of the Great Recession, there has been a lot of bad news in Deschutes County. The recession seemed to touch every industry and many employees in the county. Yet in the spring of 2011, good news began to make its way into the headlines. Three local breweries and the Brew Shop announced expansions. Each month this summer another brewery reported an expansion or an opening in Deschutes County.

In 2010, eight brewers sold 106,115 barrels of beer, 27 percent of the total barrels sold in the state by Oregon breweries and brew pubs. In people terms, local breweries and brew pubs sold 222 pints per Deschutes County resident of legal drinking age in one year. This was more than six times the number sold by all Oregon breweries and brew pubs per Oregon resident of legal drinking age last year. Since 2005, Deschutes Brewery sold at least 20 percent of the state's total taxable barrels concocted by Oregon breweries and brew pubs.

In Oregon, there were approximately 3,000 jobs at the 94 breweries and brew pubs that reported taxable barrels of beer in 2010. Not all of the 94 businesses on the OLCC list reported employment last year, but 80 firms did report. The reported jobs made up just 0.2 percent of the state's total employment.

If the current ratio continues where each brewery in Deschutes County on average has 56 jobs, there's more than just more beer on the horizon for Central Oregon. There are future employment opportunities too.

Get more information in the full article, written by Regional Economist Carolyn Eagan.

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