195 Million Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Oregon’s beer production grew at a rate of nearly 10 percent in 2004, as the state’s craft brewers produced the equivalent of more than 195 million bottles of beer and helped pump more than $2.24 billion into the state’s economy.

Total beer production for the state was approximately 591,000 barrels, according to figures released by the Oregon Brewers Guild. That is an increase of more than 50,000 barrels, up from 540,000 barrels in 2003.

That total ranks Oregon second in the nation for total production of craft beer. Since the closure of the Blitz-Weinhard Brewery in 1999, all beer production in Oregon has been by independent craft breweries.

“This is just one more piece of evidence that Oregon is truly ‘beervana’ for craft beer lovers,” said Jim Parker, executive director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. “There is no better place to live when it comes to good beer.

“Our healthy brewing industry is good for not only beer drinkers, but the state as a whole, because it provides family wage jobs, a lure for tourism and an outlet for agricultural products such as hops and barley,” he added.

He also cited the fact that 11 percent of all beer consumed in Oregon is Oregon-brewed craft beer. The national market share for all craft beer is 3.4 percent, according to the Brewers Association.