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Recently, the South Carolina Brewers Guild announced in a series of tweets that it had conducted an economic impact survey in conjunction with the national Brewers Association on the success of the Pint Law. The law, of course, was a 2013 piece of legislation advocated for by the Guild and passed by the General Assembly which allowed South Carolina breweries to sell up to 48 ounces of beer to a patron for on-site consumption at a brewery. Previously, consumers were only allowed to purchase four 4-ounce tasters from a brewery to consume on-site in conjunction with an educational tour.

As of today, there are 20 breweries open in South Carolina. Of those 20, 12 opened after the passage of the Pint Law. Practically, many opened because of the Pint Law. That makes for a 150% increase in brewery openings. The study surveyed the 12 new breweries for certain economic data, including capital investment and jobs created. The survey did not include preexisting breweries.


The survey showed that the initial economic impact of these 12 new breweries is $13.7M in South Carolina, accounting for nearly 140 jobs, $5.5M in wages, and providing an overall economic impact rise in craft beer in the state of 5%. The latest economic numbers indicated that South Carolina sees about a $254M economic impact from craft beer, with about 3,000 jobs directly attributable to it. With the new survey results and the additional taproom sales from existing breweries, that number should now sit around $275M.

The data collected in the survey was also used to make an outlook for the next 5 years. The outlook shows that by 2019, because of the Pint Law, there will be an additional economic impact of about $70.9M, with 641 jobs created, and $24.2M in wages. The outlook assumes that South Carolina will have at least 3 new brewery openings a year, getting the state to 48 by 2019. This would bring South Carolina in line with the national per capita brewery average. However, with 20 breweries already open, and an additional 15 breweries in planning, that outlook could be fairly conservative. The outlook also assumes that breweries opening will follow an established national progression of production based on historical data. Here is the outlook:

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Economic Impact ($’s) 13,701,861 21,585,401 35,806,225 50,286,676 59,834,302 70,900,448
Jobs (FTEs) 138.6 202.6 328.3 456.6 542.4 641.7
Wages ($’s) 5,448,239 7,518,803 12,250,602 17,190,413 20,652,774 24,699,212

Things continue to look up for craft beer in South Carolina. There has never been a better time to brew here than right now.

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