Will the Brewing Industry Boom Help Boost the American Economy?

It’s old news now: the American economy still stinks. While news outlets and political pundits might point to a miniscule increase in economic prosperity, that gain is not particularly visible to regular folks. In fact, it’s pretty much business as usual as we’ve come to know it over the past few years. However, there might be light at the end of the tunnel and that relief might be coming from a rather unlikely source. The booming craft brewing industry might just help to begin reversing the financial malaise, at least in some states.

Minnesota Adds Jobs with New Brewing Legislation

While Minnesota might not have passed any job-specific legislation, the governor has inadvertently made it possible for hundreds of new jobs to be created in the state. The so-called Surly Bill has been passed, despite objections from several quarters. The results will help to create new jobs in both the short and the long term.

What’s It About?

What is the Surly Bill? Essentially, the Minnesota governor has passed a law that allows craft brewers that produce less than a specified amount of beer each year to sell their product on premises (but not for take home). In order to qualify, a brewery must produce fewer than 250,000 barrels per year. These breweries can sell pints on property for consumption at the brewery. 

Who Benefits Here?

The primary beneficiary (at least immediately) is Surly Brewing Co., out of Minneapolis. The company has already started looking for a place to locate their new brewery, restaurant and bar. The expected cost of the construction will be $20 million and will provide a significant boost to the construction industry. The facility is also expected to employ at least 150 people once it has been constructed and enters operation. 

Surly Brewing is not the only company that stands to gain from the new legislation, either. Any craft brewery in Minnesota that meets the requirements can also begin selling their beer on property and quite a few breweries plan to do just that. Overall, this new legislation stands to have a potentially enormous impact on Minnesota’s economy, and will certainly have a long lasting effect that will be felt for decades to come. 

For those paying attention, this type of legislation will not seem new. Quite a few other states have enacted similar laws and are already reaping the benefits.

Posted on June 22, 2011 .