Despite Volume Losses, Ohio Ranks Fifth in Craft Beer Production
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a year which saw craft beer production decline by 9% nationally, Ohio breweries maintained their collective position as one of the top craft beer manufacturing states. The Brewers Association (BA) released new statistics this week breaking down 2020 craft beer production and sales by state. Ohio moved up one position to fifth in overall craft beer production, despite an 11% decline in volume caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati and BrewDog USA in Canal Winchester all appeared on the BA’s list of top 50 craft breweries by sales volume for 2020. Those three breweries, plus the Samuel Adams production brewery in Cincinnati, produce just over two-thirds of Ohio’s craft beer by volume.
The craft brewing industry suffered its first production volume decline on the national level in the modern craft beer era. Pandemic closures of bars and restaurants caused draft beer sales to fall more than 40% in 2020, contributing to the loss in production volume as well as a 22% drop in retail dollar value in the market.
“Breweries are still recovering from the disastrous effects of the ongoing pandemic,” said Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association (OCBA). “We’re happy that Ohio is still ranked among the nationwide leaders in craft beer production, but our industry needs continued support both from consumers and from our elected officials in order to rebound. The immediate future of the craft brewing industry and other hospitality-focused industries is dependent on the success of public health measures around COVID-19.”
Positively, the total number of breweries both nationwide and in the state reached an all-time high at the end of 2020. There are currently 366 independently owned craft breweries operating in Ohio. 47 breweries opened last year, despite the supreme challenge of starting a new business during the pandemic. The rate of brewery closings stayed consistent with previous years, in keeping with the nationwide trend. 73 breweries are known to be in-planning and expected to open to the public within the next few years.
Ohio breweries were responsible for more than 8,300 jobs before the pandemic and contributed just under $1 billion in impact to the state economy. OCBA has commissioned a study to measure 2020 economic impact at the state and regional level that will be published later this year.
Founded in 2007, the Ohio Craft Brewers Association is a nonprofit guild that exists to promote, preserve, diversify and unify Ohio’s craft brewing industry. We aspire to be recognized as the industry leader at both state and national levels for preserving the art of making high-quality, unique craft beer; to serve as the unified voice for craft brewers across the state; to advocate on behalf of the Ohio craft beer industry; to contribute to systemic, local community development by driving economic and job growth, while creating experiences that bring people together; to promote safe, responsible enjoyment of Ohio craft beer; and to serve as a beacon for local production and manufacturing through craft beer, resulting in diverse choices for consumers.