FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Breweries in Fort Collins bring jobs and money into the local economy. Now a study at Colorado State University tells how big an impact the beer industry actually has in Larimer County.

Keeping the beer flowing from Fort Collins takes a lot of workers. The study shows there are nearly 1,000 people working at six stand-alone breweries in Fort Collins.

“At a brewery like this there’s so much potential to move up,” Matt Jaspers with the Tap Room said.

Jaspers has been working in the Tap Room and giving tours at Odell Brewing Company for almost a year.

“Growing up in this town where we did have Odell Brewing Company and New Belgium for years and years now is kind of like the pinnacle of ‘if you could work for one of those breweries that would be awesome,’ ” Jaspers said.

The study shows that while many industries have been struggling, breweries are bringing important balance.

“It’s been really important in that way to kind of lessen the blow of the recession,” Martin Shields with the CSU Regional Economics Institute said.

Shields studied data from six breweries, including small micros, larger craft brewers and the giant Budweiser brewery and found that in 2010 the breweries directly added $83 million in payroll to Larimer County. Over 10 years the brewery industry grew by more than 22 percent compared to just over 6 percent job growth for other industries.

“We’ve got this important growth engine that’s helped stabilize the economy in some pretty tumultuous times,” Shields said.

“I love seeing the employment numbers because what we’re able to contribute to the community in terms of solid employment and good jobs for people is significant to us,” said Wynne Odell, Odell Brewing CEO.

Odell says beer production in the past 5 years has increased 12 percent a year.

“We’re on target to grow 14 percent on volume. So pretty healthy growth. We only target for 10, so we’re running a little hotter that we planned and very happy to be there,” Odell said.

And what’s good for the breweries has been good for the economy.

Comments (3)
  1. Mile Hi Mmj Patient says:

    So let me get this straight. A substance that KILLS 100,000+ people a year is celebrated for creating jobs and supporting a local economy. But a substance that has killed ZERO PEOPLE, is demonized and ran out of town.

    Did you know that in States where MMJ is legal that driving fatalities are DOWN along with beer sales. Why do you think that is???

    I am all for beer, but to celebrate it for creating jobs while running MMJ out of town which does the same thing is RIDICULOUS.

    The Fort Collins moratorium put 250+ people out of work, costs the City $500,000+ in revenue, and created a blight with the loss of commercial building rentals. Let’s not forget that these owners put their LIFE SAVINGS into these businesses. These are your mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters & family. These are REAL PEOPLE trying to make it in this economy.

    1. Go Fat Tire! says:

      Pot heads are silly

    2. Joe says:

      $83 million added to payrolls in 2010. Thats huge! The article is not arguing against the legalization of marijuana, but merely celebrating the success and contribution of a completely different substance. You’re going a bit off topic.

      The people working at the breweries are your mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters & family as well. These are REAL PEOPLE trying to make it in this economy.

      Yes, alcohol is dangerous if consumed excessively and in the wrong environment but the craft beer industry is a huge advocate of consuming responsibly and being active members of the community. Quality over quantity.

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