The California craft beer is a $6.5 billion industry, according to new data released today by the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA). As of March 2015 there were 554 operating breweries in California, more than any other state in the nation. 

“Over the past few years we’ve seen consistent growth in the craft beer industry both here in California and across the nation,” said Tom McCormick, executive director of the California Craft Brewers Association.  “Last year was by far the strongest upward trend we’ve seen, an amazing year for craft brewing in California.”

California is the birthplace of the American craft brewing movement and at the forefront of the industry’s growth. California produces one out of every five craft beers produced in the United States.

“California craft brewers play an important role in supporting the economic engine in California,” said McCormick. “The CCBA’s initiatives continue to promote and protect the growth of the craft brewing industry in California.”


Economic Impact – In 2014 Craft beer contributed more than $6.5 billion to the economy of California. That’s up 18% from 2013.  The craft beer industry in California has a higher economic impact than any other state in the U.S.

Employment – In 2014 the craft beer industry created more than 48,000 jobs.

Growth – During 2014 the number of operating breweries grew by more than 24% giving us a total of 520 operating breweries in California at the end of 2014.

Taxes – In 2014 California craft brewers paid more than $56 million in State and federal excise taxes and paid more than $1.3 billion in income and other local, state and federal taxes ($880 million in state and local income taxes and $465 in federal income taxes).

Production Volume – California craft brewers produced 3.4 Million barrels of beer in 2014.

Exports – California craft brewers exported 1.3 million barrels of beer in 2014. That’s still higher than the total production of all but two other states (PA and CO)



Tradeshow panaroma

A record 11,500 attendees packed the 32nd annual Brewers Association Craft Brewers Conference in Portland, Oregon for another hugely successful gathering of the craft brewing tribe. The attendance was a 22% jump over last year’s conference in Denver and a record 1700 breweries were represented. The tradeshow floor also brought in a record 600 exhibitors and was generally busy most of the time.

Although it is no longer a surprise to break registration numbers from previous years, and no longer an unusual sight to see vendors and attendees from around the world, it is still a shock to longtime industry veterans to witness such an enormous industry crowd gathered in one place at one time for craft beer. It was not that many years ago that just a few thousand attended the conference in the confines of a single hotel property. The event has now begun to outgrow even some of the mid-sized convention centers. The Portland Convention Center did not have adequate space to host either the Opening Reception or the keynote address. Long winding lines of brewers and allied trade members made their way over to the nearby Veterans Memorial Coliseum, former home of the Portland Trail Blazers and where the likes of Elvis, the Beatles and of course the Grateful Dead played. It was an odd feeling to be sitting in a sports arena to hear the opening remarks and keynote, but BA Director Paul Gatza reminded the crowd of the historical significance by standing on the stage exactly where Jerry Garcia stood the moment Mt. Saint Helens had its second eruption.

During the opening remarks, BA staff gave the usual rundown on the statistics from last year. Although most of these 2014 numbers have already been published, they were still inspirational to hear. Craft beer was up in 2014, 18% by volume and 22% in dollars for a total market share of 11%. The beer industry as a whole being up only 0.5%, showing that yet again craft beer is the beer industry leader. With 615 new openings last year, the year-end total was 3413 craft breweries nationally. Only 46 craft breweries closed last year.

Three members of the brewing community were recognized and awarded for their dedication and service during the opening session, including California’s own Steve Dresler of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. who received the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing.

Where next? It will be a long wait until the CBC returns to the West Coast. The 2016 CBC will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from May 3-6th and then moving on to Washington, DC in 2017. The conference will likely be in a Southern state in 2018 and a Mid-West state in 2019 before returning to the West for 2020. By then it will certainly have outgrown most conventions centers leaving San Francisco, San Diego or Los Vegas as the likely candidates.


Ticket sales open for a first-of-a-kind event bringing together California’s craft brewers and craft beer enthusiasts

Today the California Craft Brewers Association launched online ticket sales for a first-of-a-kind event, the California Craft Beer Summit and Brewers Showcase. More than 150 California breweries are expected to participate in events ranging from beer tastings to educational brewing sessions at the two day summit, including industry icons such as Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada; David Walker, co-founder of Firestone Walker Brewing Co.; and Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo, owners of Russian River Brewing Co.

“This is a golden ticket into the world of craft brewing,” said Tom McCormick, executive director of the California Craft Brewers Association. “This type of access to experienced brewers, and insight into the culture and creativity of craft brewing is unheard of. When you live in a state that is overwhelmingly passionate about the art of craft beer, you don’t expect tickets to last for long.”  

The summit will bring together retailers, wholesalers, brewery owners, beer enthusiasts and home-brewers for an educational, hands-on experience to see, touch, smell and taste beer.

“This is not just a celebration of California’s craft brewers,” said McCormick. “It is a thank you to all craft beer enthusiasts who value the art, culture and quality of California’s craft beers.”

Ticket packages and pricing for the weekend range from $60 to $239 and include a variety of educational sessions, tasting and food pairing activities, VIP access and festival events on September 11-12 in Sacramento.

“We are beyond thrilled to be a part of the growing craft beer culture in California,” said Mike Sardina with Societe Brewing Company in San Diego. “This summit is a significant and exciting event for our brewery and it is important for the entire craft brewing community in this state.”

Tickets for the event are available at

A complete speaker and topic schedule will be released In May 2015.

To learn more about the craft beer industry in California, please follow California Craft Brewers Association on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.



The CCBA is excited and proud to announce the launch of the California Craft Beer Summit and Brewers Showcase to connect California’s thriving craft brewing industry to beer enthusiasts across the state. This first-of-its-kind event will profile California craft beer and celebrate the brewers whose creativity and passion have formed the world’s most coveted beers. The two day summit and brewers showcase will be held in Sacramento on September 11th-12th, 2015.

The two day event will allow attendees to see, smell, taste and feel beer while learning about beer styles, how beer is made and experience an inside view of the craft brewing industry.  The trade show floor will feature numerous demonstrations and “Tap Talks” while breakout seminars in a classroom setting will explore all facets of craft beer.

The Expo will culminate with the “Brewers Showcase” – a unique beer festival and village that will profile and highlight craft beers from all across California.

Summit Website IS LIVE! More information on the event can be found here:

Sponsorship Opportunities: Looking at ways your company can get involved? Sponsorship Opportunities can be found here. Contact- [email protected] 

Brewery Participation: Interested in pouring your beer at the Brewers Showcase? Please email  [email protected]


‘Farmers’ Market Bill’ is Now Law

January 12th, 2015 by CCBA


The CCBA-sponsored Assembly Bill 2004 (Chesbro) added Section 23399.45 to the Business and Professions Code, effective 01/01/15.  This provision creates a new Certified Farmers’ Market Beer Sales Permit, which has been designated as a Type 84. 

The new permit will allow beer manufacturers (Types 01 and 23) to sell sealed containers of beer off-sale to consumers at certified farmers’ markets.  Each permit allows the permit-holder to exercise this privilege at a single certified farmers’ market one day per week.  However, a licensee may hold additional permits authorizing these activities at multiple certified farmers’ markets.  Permits may only be issued to licensees for certified farmers’ markets held in the same county in which their manufacturing facility is located or the county adjacent to such location.

The privileges and restrictions of the Certified Farmers’ Market Permit are as follows:

•             Permit can only be issued at a specific address that is a certified farmers’ market as defined by Chapter 10.5 of Division 17 of the Food and Agriculture Code.

•             Permit can only be used one day per week at each certified farmers’ market.

•             Beer manufacturers can have more than one permit at different certified farmers’ market locations.

•             Permit may only be issued for a location within the same county of or adjacent county to the licensed beer manufacturing facility.

•             Sales at certified farmers’ market(s) are not to exceed 5,000 gallons of beer annually. Licensees shall maintain records of sales under this permit.

•             No refilling of containers/growlers is permitted (pre-filled and sealed growlers may be sold).

•             No tasting or samples of beer may be provided or sold by permit holders.

•             Permits can only be issued to licensees who hold either a Type 01 or a Type 23.

California Craft Beer- 2014 Review

December 11th, 2014 by CCBA

Photo Courtesy Bart Watson- Brewers Association

Photo Courtesy Bart Watson- Brewers Association

As 2014 comes to a close the California Craft Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade association representing the small and independent craft brewers in California, looks back at the year of craft beer in the golden state.

 “We have seen year after year of strong craft beer growth both in California and nationally”, said Tom McCormick, executive director of the California Craft Brewers Association.  “And 2014 has been perhaps the strongest growth year ever for the craft brewing industry here in California.”

California craft brewery count passes 500. In November, California passed the mark of 500 craft breweries, the highest in the nation with an additional 240 breweries in planning. During 2014 the number of operating breweries increased by over 20 percent.

According to the Brewers Association’s chief economist Bart Watson, “2014 proved that craft beer is moving into the mainstream. Consumers are making a conscious choice to buy and try the plethora of options produced by small and independent craft brewers.”

Nationally the number of craft brewery openings continue to grow. In November the United States passed the mark of 3,200 brewers in the country and breweries are opening at a rate of 1.5 per day. In addition, there are more than 2,000 breweries in planning.

California produces more craft beer than any other state, in 2014 approximately 3.4 million barrels of beer have been produced. Sales of craft beer in California are up 20.7% compared to 18% nationally and now account for a 16.8% market share. In addition, California breweries exported 1.2 million barrels of beer last year, that’s more beer than most other states produce. Only Oregon and Pennsylvania produced more than 1.2 million barrels in 2013.

The economic impact California brewers have in the state continues to grow, California breweries contributed $ 5.5 billion to the California economy in 2013 inclusive of all goods and services both directly and indirectly.

Other noteworthy trends in 2014 were the continued popularity of India Pale Ales (IPAs) and the diversity of craft beer consumers.

According to retail scan data, IPA is up 47 percent by volume and 49 percent by dollar sales, accounting for 21 percent volume share of craft and 23 percent dollar share of off-premise beer sales.

Craft beer consumers are growing as data indicates that 38 percent of households bought a craft beer in the last year versus 29 percent in 2010. More women are consuming craft beer at almost 32 percent of craft beer volume, almost half of which comes from women ages 21-34.