Colorado’s craft beer industry sees largest growth on record

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DENVER — Colorado’s craft beer industry is seeing plenty of growth.

The Colorado Brewers Guild said Friday there was a 178 percent growth in the number of breweries in the state since the recession ended in 2009.

The Colorado Brewers Guild said there are 309 licensed breweries in the state, including 123 brew pubs and 186 manufacturing breweries.

A study conducted by the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business found the economic impact of Colorado’s craft beer industry was about 1.15 billion in 2014, up from $800 million the year before.

The guild also noted a large increase in jobs. In 2013, direct industry employment hovered around 5,269. A year later, the industry added nearly 1,000 jobs.

The 2014 study shows there are 6,021 craft beer-related jobs in Colorado and wages totaled $162 million.

The guild said it believes only one Colorado brewery closed in 2014 and it originated from Wyoming. In all, 53 new breweries opened in 2014.

The complete study will be released to the public Tuesday.

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