A new economic impact study shows America’s beer industry, made up of brewers, beer importers, beer distributors, brewer suppliers and retailers, directly and indirectly contributes more than $198 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The study, commissioned by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), also shows that the industry provides nearly 1.9 million jobs–generating nearly $62 billion in wages and benefits. The industry also paid $41 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes in 2008.
“America’s brewing industry continues to play a pivotal role in supporting this nation’s economic viability,” said Tom Long, president and chief commercial officer of MillerCoors and chairman of the Beer Institute. “Brewers in all 50 states have been a driving force in their communities for years by creating jobs and tax revenue for public services and promoting alcohol awareness responsibility initiatives for retailers, schools, and families.”
“Beer distributors are proud providers of 95,000 quality jobs with solid wages and great benefits in every state and congressional district across the country,” said Phil Terry, chief executive officer of Monarch Beverage Co. in Indianapolis, Indiana and chairman of NBWA. “As privately-owned firms, beer distributors are invested in their communities and work hard to ensure the effective state-based system of alcohol regulation, which works to keep communities and consumers safe.”
According to the study, the beer industry directly employs more than one million people, paying $28 billion in wages. Beer sales help support roughly 888,000 retail jobs, including those at supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, bars, stadiums, and other outlets and generate more than $25 billion in economic activity in agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
“These numbers demonstrate that our industry is essential to several sectors of the U.S. economy, particularly as the nation struggles to regain its footing in this uncertain climate,” said Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute. “For this reason, it is important that state and federal officials consider equitable tax policies that do not unduly harm an industry that provides so many domestic jobs and so much economic growth.”
“In addition to providing quality jobs with solid wages, the three-tier beer distribution system provides transparency and accountability and works to keep American consumers safe,” added NBWA President Craig Purser. “This time-tested, effective system of state controls, in which America’s beer distributors play a critical role, works to ensure alcoholic beverages are sold only to licensed retailers who in turn are responsible for selling only to adults of legal drinking age.”
In addition to strengthening the U.S. economy, the industry plays a significant role in promoting responsible consumption of its products. Brewers, importers, and independent beer distributors, licensed at both the state and federal levels, develop and implement programs that promote responsibility and help fight alcohol abuse. These efforts, along with those of parents, law enforcement, federal and state alcohol beverage regulators, educators, and other community groups, have worked to contribute to declines in illegal underage drinking and drunk driving over the past two decades, according to independent and government data.
The Economic Impact study was conducted by John Dunham & Associates based in New York City and covers data compiled in 2008. The complete study, including state-by-state and congressional district breakdowns of economic contributions, is available at Beer Serves America, www.BeerServesAmerica.org.
The Beer Institute, established in 1986, is the national trade association for the brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. NBWA represents the interests of 2,800 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country.