CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ohio ranks fifth in craft beer production in the United States, despite declining production amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new statistics from the Brewers Association.
Ohio saw an 11% drop in craft beer volume in 2020, but still rose a notch to fifth place, according to the nonprofit trade group that represents more than 5,400 U.S. breweries.
The impact of the pandemic has been particularly felt by breweries without a distribution footprint in the market as the state has allowed production to continue during door-to-door orders. This meant that the kegs remained empty while the production of cans and bottles was allowed to continue. Bar and restaurant closures have caused trafficking sales to drop by more than 40%, the organization said.
Nationally, craft beer production fell 9%.
Ohio has three entries among the top 50 craft breweries by state:
22. Great Lakes Brewing Co., Cleveland, founded in 1988.
25. Rhinegeist, founded in Cincinnati in 2013 and distributed in northeast Ohio via blanks and cans.
41. BrewDog, Columbus, founded in Scotland in 2007 and founded in Columbus in 2017. The brewery confirmed its expansion in Cleveland on Tuesday.
The first three: DG Yuengling & Son, Boston Beer Co. and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Among the 50 largest global brewing companies – which includes large non-craft companies – Great Lakes ranks 31st and Rhinegeist is 34th. Top 3: Anheuser-Busch, Molson-Coors and Constellation brands.
Other facts about Ohio and beer:
• Ohio has 366 breweries. Ohio’s three top 50 breweries by volume, as well as the Samuel Adams production brewery in Cincinnati, produce more than two-thirds of Ohio’s craft beer by volume, according to the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, l nonprofit organization that lobbies on behalf of and promotes craft breweries.
• In 2020, 47 breweries were opened and 15 closed in Ohio. Currently, 73 are in the planning stage, according to the OCBA. These numbers continue a healthy growth pattern in Ohio. Just ten years ago, the state had 45 breweries.
• About 40 of the top 50 brands are available on store shelves in Northeast Ohio. Add to that the range of offerings from large and small Ohio breweries and imported brands, and the consumer is left with an overwhelming number of choices by style and by container.
• Ohio breweries were responsible for more than 8,300 jobs before the pandemic, according to the OCBA.
• The overall market share of craft beer by volume is 12.3%, compared to 13.6% the previous year. The global market encompasses everything from craft beer to pedestrian lager beers and imported brands, giving an idea of who drinks India Pale Ale Fat Head’s Head Hunter versus those who prefer, say, natural light.
“Breweries are still recovering from the disastrous effects of the ongoing pandemic,” OCBA Executive Director Mary MacDonald said in a statement. “We’re happy that Ohio continues to be ranked among the nation’s leaders in craft beer production, but our industry needs the continued support of consumers and our elected officials to bounce back. The immediate future of the craft brewing industry and other hospitality-oriented industries depends on the success of public health measures around COVID-19. “
Here’s more information on Ohio and Craft Beer from the Brewers Association.
I am on cleveland.comlife and culture team and cover topics related to food, beer, wine and sport. If you want to see my stories, here is a directory on cleveland.com. Bill Wills from WTAM-1100 and I talk about food and drink usually at 8:20 am on Thursday mornings. And tune in at 7:05 am Wednesdays for “Beer with Bona and Much, Much More” with Munch Bishop on 1350-AM The Gambler. Twitter: @ mbona30.
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