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UM News
October 30, 2012


Montana’s 33 craft brewers represent a growing sector of manufacturing activity in the state, according to a new survey and economic impact study by researchers Colin Sorenson and Todd Morgan of The University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

According to the report commissioned by the Montana Brewers Association and titled “The Economic Contribution of Craft Brewing in Montana,” the impact of the industry represents more than 430 jobs, nearly $50 million in private-sector sales, $9.8 million in private nonfarm compensation, $1.8 million in government compensation and $1.5 million in state government revenues.

Survey data collected by BBER show the brewing industry in Montana grew rapidly from 2010 to 2011. Production rose 18 percent, sales were up 20 percent, employment was up 39 percent, compensation increased 23 percent and expenditures were up 21 percent. Nearly 97 percent of Montana’s brewers participated in the survey and many reported offering a variety of employee benefits such as health insurance, retirement and paid vacations.

BBER’s study found that while the activity of craft breweries is concentrated in the more populous regions of the state, economic impacts of craft brewing extend into all regions. As of the end of calendar year 2011, there were 12 breweries in northwest Montana, seven in southwest Montana, four in north central Montana, eight in south central Montana and two in eastern Montana.

“These numbers show the tremendous potential for Montana’s breweries to continue to create jobs and wealth in Montana,” said Tony Herbert, executive director of the Montana Brewers Association. “The economic impact of the brewing industry in Montana is large and growing, and the potential for breweries to generate more jobs, more statewide tax revenues and more happy customers should not be underestimated.”

The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at UM is a research center producing economic and industry data for Montana. For more information visit or





Contact: Colin Sorenson, research economist, UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research,, 406-243-5113,