Two-thirds of Oregon counties  have a brew pub or a brewery. The majority  of establishments are in the Portland Metro area (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties). Overall, Oregon is the second largest producer of craft beer in the US (behind California) and has the largest percentage of craft beer consumed in the US that is made in state at a little over 15.9%. On a per capita basis, Oregon is 1st in the US, with 1 brewery per 25,306 people.

The areas with the most breweries are the Portland Metro, Willamette, and Central Oregon regions. The Portland metro area is the largest craft brewing market in the US and has 64 breweries and jobs in Portland-area breweries and pubs exceed 2,700. Further, 90% of US hop crop is grown in OR & WA.  For more facts on the industry, visit Oregon Brewers Guild — Beer Facts.

Beer by the Numbers



Economic  Impact

Direct Employment: 4,643 (2011)
Employment Growth: 30% (2007-11)
Total Firms: 184 (2011)
Craft Beer Retail Sales: $270 million (2011)

Source: Oregon Employment Department, OLMIS Report; Oregon Brewers Guild Beer Facts

 Cluster Strengths

  • Oregon has the 3rd highest percentage of draft beer consumed in the US. Oregonians consumed 2.711 million barrels of beer in 2011 and the Oregon market is the largest market for every craft brewer in Oregon.
  • Oregon is the No. 2 hop growing state in the country
  • Seven percent of the over 21 million overnight travelers in Oregon said they came to visit an Oregon craft brewery, in Portland that number is more than 12%, in Bend that number is 28%.
  • The industry has several decades of history in Oregon: in 1969 Fred Eckhardt published a treatise on lager beers; in 1974 Produce Row was opened by a group of people including Mike McMenamin; in 1979 the First Legal Oregon Homebrew Club was formed.
  • In 1985, the Oregon State Legislature legalized the ability for a brewery to sell the beer it makes on premise over the bar starting the brewpub movement.
  • Oregon has almost perfect brewing water — it’s very soft and tastes great.
  • The state has a strong tavern culture and homebrewing community–most local brewers started as homebrewers.

Key Organizations

Oregon Brewers Guild
Check out their website at

9 of the top 50 brewing companies in the US make beer in Oregon. Five are headquartered in Oregon: Widmer Brothers Brewing, Deschutes Brewery, Full Sail Brewing, Rogue Ales and Ninkasi Brewing Co.

Cluster Contacts

Brian Butenschoen
Executive Director
Oregon Brewers Guild
PMB 278 2000 NE 42ND AVE STE D
PORTLAND OR 97213-1305