Bartender Gabe Flegel pours a beer at Geaghan's Pub and Craft Brewery of Bangor in February of 2020. Credit: Nick Sambides Jr. / BDN

After facing a myriad of challenges during 2020, Maine’s craft beer industry was able to profit and is expected to continue to grow, according to a new economic impact report.

Breweries and related activities by their suppliers and employees contributed a total of $260.7 million to the Maine economy in 2020, according to a report released Wednesday by the Maine Brewers’ Guild and the University of Maine School of Economics.

The number of breweries in Maine has increased, aiding economic growth and contributions to the state. Before the onset of the pandemic, there were 154 craft breweries throughout the state — over the course of 2020, that number grew to 160.

Breweries have also been able to more than double their output since the first economic report in 2017.

“Maine’s brewers have really built their brand by providing welcoming spaces and friendly service at their tasting rooms,” said Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild. “When they lost that ability to bring visitors in, businesses took a hit. Of course, like many industries, our brewers also faced supply chain challenges, staffing shortages, and increasing costs.”

Avatar photo

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.