Beverage Production

Big-league growth on tap in beverage industry

The beverage production cluster in the region ranks as having the second-highest employment concentration out of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in 2017. The region has the fourth-largest beverage production sector in the nation, with 9,790 workers at nearly 240 companies. The beverage production cluster posted 4.7 percent employment growth between 2016 and 2017, rising for the eighth-consecutive year. 

Metro Denver Beverage Production Snapshot
Direct Employment 9,790
Companies 240
Five-Year Employment Growth (2012-2017) 29.4% (32.3%)
One-Year Employment Growth (2017) 4.7% (6.7%)
Direct Employment Concentration (2017) 0.4% (0.2%)
Average Wage $59,580
Employment Concentration Ranking (Among 50 largest metros) 2

The region is a top beverage production location, offering: 

  1. Established infrastructure and burgeoning consumer base
    • Denver ranked No. 3 in the nation among “America’s Top 20 Craft Spirits Tourism Destinations.” Denver ranked third in the large metro area category, while Boulder (No. 4) and Fort Collins (No. 7) ranked in the top 10 in the small metro area category. (Travelocity, 2017; American Distilling Institute, 2017)
    • Metro Denver is home to four of the nation’s top 100 beverage companies, including MillerCoors, DanoneWave, J.M. Smucker Co., and New Belgium Brewery. (Beverage Industry, 2017) 
  2. A pro-business environment and a competitive tax structure
    • Colorado has the third-lowest distilled spirit tax in the nation, the fifth-lowest beer excise tax, and the 11th-lowest wine excise tax. (The Tax Foundation, 2017) 
  3. An overall better quality of life
    • Denver was named as the second-best place to live in the U.S. in 2017. The city’s desirability, prominent research institutions, and growing job market contributed to its notable rank. (U.S. News & World Report, 2017)
    • Colorado is home to one of the most active and healthiest populations in the nation. The state has one of the nation’s largest public parks systems, over 45 national and state parks, 11 world-class ski resorts, and the highest concentration of 13,000 and 14,000-foot peaks in the nation. (Colorado Tourism Office, 2017)

The region’s higher education system custom programs in place to prepare the beverage production industry workforce, including:

Plus, numerous industry groups have set up shop in the region to support the burgeoning beverage production industry.