SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego's 114 breweries and brewpubs had combined sales of $851 million last year and collectively employed more than 4,500
workers, according to a report released Tuesday by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.
The figures show strong growth from the year before - $125 million more in revenue and 750 or so additional employees.
Report author Vince Vasquez said that despite the increases, the local brewing industry faces some challenges ahead that will bear watching.
"Industry sales and jobs continue to rise each year in San Diego, but the local marketplace for craft beer is changing,'' Vasquez said. "Regional marketing efforts and consumer education will be critical in identifying "craft' brewers in a new era of industry acquisitions and expansions in San Diego.''
Among the challenges, average brewery wages that had hit $40,000 locally in 2014 slipped under $37,000 the following year. San Diego breweries have offered the highest wages in the industry, but were nearly matched in 2015 by counterparts in Portland and Boulder, Colorado, according to the report.
The San Diego pay rate was comparable to the level of 2012, according to the study.
Vasquez said 52 percent of area brewery workers were employed full-time -- with the largest and most established firms, and the newest and smallest -- having the largest percentage of full-time employees. He found that mid-sized breweries were most dependent on part-timers.
Other concerns listed by brewery executives were access to capital, the availability of real estate, and distribution. Taxes, and state and federal regulations, were the lowest of nine potential impediments to growth that they considered, according to the report.
The Carlsbad City Council on Tuesday denied the Planning Commission’s approval for a liquor license at K1 Speed, the indoor go-kart racing company, but did approve a restaurant.
Firefighters reported 90 percent containment Wednesday of a wildfire that scorched about 200 acres of brush in the southeastern reaches of San Diego County and threatened about 20 back-country homes hours after Monday's solar eclipse.
Fire investigators are working Wednesday to determine what sparked a blaze that ripped through stacks of cardboard at a Kearny Mesa recycling center, authorities said.
Lottery players will have a shot at a $700 million Powerball jackpot that ranks as the second largest in U.S. history.
A deep marine layer settled over much of San Diego County Wednesday, including far into the inland valleys.
Sixteen people and at least one dog fled from a burning home Wednesday morning in the Oak Park neighborhood just minutes before the house became fully engulfed in flames, authorities said.
The U.S. Department of State on Tuesday warned U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain parts of Mexico due to the activities of criminal organizations in those areas.
A federal judge who has been a frequent target of President Donald Trump's scorn on Tuesday urged a quick trial for a Mexican man who had been shielded from being deported from the U.S. and claims he was wrongly expelled.
Solarte homered and drove in a career-high six runs, Austin Hedges also went deep and the San Diego Padres beat the St. Louis Cardinals 12-4 on Tuesday night.
A 9-year-old boy who was the subject of an Amber Alert in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties after being abducted by his father, who was suspected of first killing the child's mother, was located safe Tuesday.