WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Over the past year, breweries have been making their way from Asheville to Wilmington and there’s good reason for it. Demand is high and business is booming. Simply put, craft beer is a growing industry and a new report says the economy is quick to drink it up.
It’s a study serving up big gulps of good news.
“We’ve been growing like crazy so it’s been an exciting year,” John Savard said.
It’s been an exciting year for locals John and Michelle Savard, who opened up Wilmington Brewing Company about a year ago.
“It’s amazing, the support is awesome,” Michelle Savard said. “Obviously we know a lot of people here but the support from new people I thought would never come through the door is really really great.”
Such greatness is backed by the findings of the Beer Serves America study. The folks at the National Beer Wholesalers Association put it together.
They say the beer industry employs 1.75 million people in the country, more than 26 thousand in North Carolina, and in this Wilmington brewery the growth is strong too.
“We started with just two employees, me and my wife, and we’re up to about 10 employees,” John Savard said. “So that’s kind of the immediate growth and economic boom we’ve helped with a little bit.”
And more than a half dozen other breweries are following the trend too in New Hanover County.
“It’s kind of like going through the old school way of doing things,” John explained. “When you knew your baker, your butcher, now you know the guy or girl who makes your beer.”
Back to the beer study, the beer experts say North Carolina’s economy gets almost 3.8 billion dollars of sudsy love from the industry.
2 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue, they say.
That gives a little extra *hop that the local economy can sip on.