Oregon leads nation in brewing up jobs

EUGENE, Ore. - More Oregonians work for breweries as a percentage of the state's total population than in any other U.S. state.

"I think Oregon supports its craft industries," said David Green with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, "and included with that I think oregon supports craft brewers."

Green said the number of licenses for breweries issued by his office has doubled in recent years.

And Lane County isn't alone: at least two-thirds of Oregon counties have some kind of local brew pub, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

Scott Seiber of Eugene's Falling Sky Brewing started business 7 months ago, one of the recent new brewers pushing this economic trend.

"Passion for brewing is one and the mixture of the art and science is really fun because you're able to, you know, develop a recipe and have a pretty good scientific background to keep things clean and the yeast healthy," he said of why the work appeals to him.

Seiber said the new numbers crowning Oregon as the nation's leader in brewery employment are exciting.

"More beer, more cheer," he said. "The more breweries that are out there, the more people get more knowledgable about the products and the more they're going to be more willing to go somewhere else and try more beer and hopefully let this culture grow even more."