Economy | local | Food

Oregon Sees Growth In Brewery Jobs

OPB | Aug. 22, 2012 11:20 a.m. | Updated: Aug. 23, 2012 11:18 p.m.

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Oregon may have surpassed Vermont last year as the state with the most breweries per capita.  That’s one conclusion of a new report from Oregon’s employment department.

Alex Johnson / OPB

Nailing down the number of jobs created by Oregon’s brewing industry has always been a bit of a slippery proposition.  That’s because a lot of those jobs happen to be at places you might classify as a brewpub — a restaurant that brews beer in the back. 

Unfortunately,  it’s not easy to differentiate those jobs from positions at more traditional restaurants.  So about a year ago, Carolyn Eagan who was then a regional economist with the state, started plowing through a list of Oregon liquor licensees.   Eventually she determined there were about 4,600 of these jobs in Oregon in 2011 and not just in Portland and Bend.

“Two-thirds of the counties in the state have breweries or brewpubs.  I mean, that sort of geographic diversity was not something I expected.”

Eagan says between 2007 and 2011 Oregon’s total employment shrank by 6 percent.  At the same time brewery and brewpub employment spiked by 30 percent. 

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