The beer industry is booming in North Carolina, according to a new report. The study shows the beer industry creates thousands of jobs and pumps billions of dollars a year into the state’s economy.
With new breweries popping up almost every week, Raleigh has become one of the hubs of that growth.
Neuse River Brewing Company is one of the most recent breweries to open in Raleigh. Founders Ryan Kolarov and David Powell moved from California to be a part of the growth.
“We love making beer, we love drinking beer and we have a good market and it all just came together and made sense for us,” said Kolarov.
The study, performed by the National Beer Wholesalers Association, shows in 2014 the beer industry in North Carolina brought in $7.8 billion to the state’s economy, created 26,000 jobs and generated $213 million in state and local taxes. The economic impact ranks 12th in the nation.
A good bit of that money came from Asheville, a city most people consider as the beer capitol of North Carolina, but Raleigh may soon challenge that title with the recent increase of new breweries.
“To be amongst some of the elites, I think it’s pretty exciting,” said Powell. “Raleigh has a chance to really blossom and put ourselves on the map.”
One way to get on the map is to open a beer garden with 366 beers on tap. Raleigh Beer Garden, which opened last week on Glenwood South, is now the world’s biggest beer garden.
“I want people to come to Raleigh and say, ‘Did you hear about this place that has 366 drafts?’” said Raleigh Beer Garden Owner Niall Hanley.
There are about 100 breweries in North Carolina, a number that’s doubled since 2011. About twenty of those breweries are in the Raleigh-area.