New Study Reveals More Growth in Montana Craft Beer Industry

August 20, 2014

MISSOULA – Montana’s craft brewing industry is experiencing rapid growth, according to an economic impact study conducted by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana.

Between 2010 and 2013, craft beer production in Montana increased by 49 percent, sales increased by 55 percent and employment more than doubled from 231 to 486 jobs, according to Colin Sorenson, a BBER research economist who conducted the study.

“Those jobs and income flows also contribute to other economic growth throughout the state,” Sorenson said. “Most of the jobs are concentrated in the manufacturing sector, but when you take into account the spending of workers employed by breweries, and vendor purchases made by breweries, we see additional jobs in sectors such as construction, state and local government and retail trade.”

Including impacts in other sectors, the study found that Montana’s brewing operations result in a total of 673 permanent year-round jobs, $18 million in income to Montana households and $60 million in sales. The study was commissioned by the Montana Brewers Association.

“It’s satisfying to see this growth in jobs and sales,” said Tony Herbert, executive director of the Montana Brewers Association. “The numbers also show the impact of people buying locally made products. If we weren’t making beer in Montana, and if our customers weren’t buying Montana beer, a lot of those dollars would be leaving the state.”

To read the full report, visit

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





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