A new report released by the Maine Brewers’ Guild is projecting growth of nearly 40 percent next year as the number of Maine’s craft brewers continues to grow.
A decade ago there were fewer than 15 small brewers in the state, but Sean Sullivan, executive director of the guild, says there are now more than 80 breweries that have a total annual economic effect of more than $225 million in Maine.
“The growth is spreading around the state — this is no longer just a Portland-centric industry, and in fact the biggest growth areas over the past few years have been in Penobscot County and York County,” he says. “I think where we’ll increasingly land is where each community has a small local brewery that’s owned by people they know creating a kind of community gathering hub. It’s a real exciting part of our industry that’s changing drinking culture in Maine.”
The report, prepared for the Maine Brewers’ Guild by the University of Maine School of Economics, concluded that the craft beer industry in Maine employs more than 1,600 people with total wages and salaries exceeding $50 million. Gross sales reported by the craft brewers in Maine exceeded $150 million last year.