Craft Beer & Tourism in San Diego: An Industry & Market Analysis

Stone Brewing was founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner and is now headquartered in Escondido, Ca. Stone Brewing has grown to be the 10th largest craft brewer in the United States and it has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth”. Greg Koch, Co-Founder and CEO of Stone Brewing, is very involved in the craft beer movement in San Diego. He wants San Diego to become “as synonymous with craft beer as wine is with Napa”. Craft brewers have been one of the fastest growing business sectors in San Diego. This sector has more than doubled in San Diego since 2011 and in 2014 the economic value of craft beer in the San Diego region was estimated to be $600 million and is expected to grow. As of July 2016, the San Diego Brewery Watch listed 129 breweries in San Diego County. This project was sponsored by Stone Brewing to determine the impact San Diego’s craft beer industry has on driving tourism. The objective of this report is to conduct an industry and market analysis of the craft beer industry, compare the craft beer scene in San Diego and other cities, and recommend what needs to be done to better market San Diego as a craft beer destination.