FILE - Wyoming Beer

Beer taps at a brewery in Wyoming

(The Center Square) – Craft beer has become a big seller in Wyoming, which has 40 craft breweries across the state.

Craft beer contributed nearly $200 million to the state's economy in 2021, The Cowboy State Daily reported, citing data from the the Brewers Association, a trade group based in Boulder, Colo.

Michelle Forster, executive director of the Wyoming Craft Brewers Guild, told The Center Square the state ranks fourth in the country for breweries per capita.

"We have about 10 breweries per 100,000 adults," she said, noting that residents support "well-made local" products.

"That's why craft beer has been so successful in this state," Forster said. "Wyoming residents are very supportive of independently owned small businesses."

Wyoming farmers also grow a lot of malt barley, according to Forster.

"A lot of that barley is taken out of state, malted and then sold back to our brewers in Wyoming," she said.

The beer brewed in Wyoming tends to stay in state, with only five out 40 craft breweries in the Wyoming shipping out of state, Forster said.

The Cowboy State's craft beer industry also benefits tourism, according to Forster.

"In Wyoming during the festival season, which is basically summer between late May and September, there is a festival almost every single weekend somewhere in Wyoming, sometimes multiple festivals on the same weekend," she said. "They are very important to communities and chambers of commerce, tourism boards, people who want to provide a place for tourists and residents to gather around the local culture."

"In Wyoming, we're so fortunate that all of the hot spots for tourists have at least one brewery, many times multiple breweries," Forster said.