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Craft Beverages

  • Beer-Flight-1280-525

Production on the Rise

Beer Cider Spirits LogoSonoma County is experiencing a surge in hand-crafted beverages as consumer preferences shift towards smaller-scale production of beers, ciders and spirits. Sonoma County is home to award-winning craft breweries, such Lagunitas Brewing Company, Russian River Brewing Company and Bear Republic Brewing Company, that have been experiencing rapid growth and attracting tourists from around the nation. Meanwhile, local cideries and distilleries continue to increase output and employment. With over 45 breweries, cideries and distilleries, it’s no wonder that Sonoma County is earning a national reputation for its craft beverage sector.

Sector Snapshot

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  • Check out our Sonoma County Beer, Cider and Spirits Video
  • As of 2015, there were 23 craft breweries, 13 craft distilleries, and 9 craft cideries in Sonoma County.
  • Total economic impact for craft breweries was estimated to be $169 million in 2013 (most current data available), a 37.4 percent increase from 2012. 
  • Raw materials represent the largest overall supply cost to Sonoma County craft producers. Many producers source local ingredients, such as apples and grains, in their products helping to support local agriculture. As breweries, cideries, and distilleries continue to grow in Sonoma County, so too has their demand for local supplies and ingredients. 
  • State regulation has grown to become the number one issue affecting the growth of beer, cider, and spirits producers in Sonoma County. Changes in the regulatory environment have been varied, with some progress being made in specific areas. However, as reported by local producers, significant barriers still remain at the state level.

EDB Sector Support

The EDB has been working closely with craft beverage producers to support and showcase this emerging sector in Sonoma County.

Pliny the Younger Release

Craft Beverages-Pliny the Younger-ImageFor two weeks each Spring, visitors flock to Santa Rosa's Russian River Brewing Company for the release of internationally-acclaimed craft beer, Pliny the Younger. In 2016, the EDB's research found that the Pliny the Younger release brings 16,000 visitors and almost $5 million of tourist dollars into the County.

Annual Economic Impact

In 2013, the EDB published its first Craft Beverage Report and found that the craft brewing industry generated an economic impact of $123 million in 2012. The following year, economic impact increased by 37.4 percent, to $169 million. The EDB's annual Craft Beverage Reports are informed entirely by industry surveying.

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Beer, Cider & Spirits Conference

In 2013 and 2015, the EDB hosted two well-attended Beer, Cider & Spirits Conferences, bringing together over 400 local craft beverage manufacturers, service providers, and aficionados to showcase this burgeoning sector in Sonoma County.

Sector Map

Craft Beverages-Map

Contact Information

Francesca Schott
Business Services Coordinator

Economic Development Board

Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
Address
141 Stony Circle, Suite 110
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
 

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