Beer Industry Contributes $223.8 Billion to U.S. Economy

“Our industry continues to play an integral role in providing jobs and revenue necessary to heal our recovering economy,” says Beer Institute president.

A new Economic Impact study conducted by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) shows America’s beer industry—made up of brewers, beer importers, beer distributors, brewer suppliers and retailers—directly and indirectly contributes $223.8 billion each year to the U.S. economy.

The industry generates more than 1.8 million American jobs, which account for $71.2 billion in wages and benefits. And it contributed $44.7 billion dollars in the form of business, personal and consumption taxes in 2010, the study showed.

“Brewers across the country, large and small, remain an integral part of their communities. Not only do they promote alcohol responsibility programs for local retailers, schools and families, this study shows they also create sustainable jobs and important tax revenues that contribute to our nation’s economy,” said Dave Peacock, president of Anheuser-Busch and chairman of the Beer Institute. “America’s brewing industry continues to play a significant role in supporting the economy in each and every state.”

“As independent businesses, America’s 3,300 licensed beer distributors are proud to provide more than 98,000 quality jobs with solid wages and great benefits to employees in every state and congressional district across the country,” said Larry Del Papa, president and CEO of Del Papa Distributing Co., Inc. in Galveston, Texas, and chairman of NBWA. “Beer distributors are deeply rooted in their local markets, so it’s only natural that they work hard to keep their communities safe–especially by fighting underage drinking and drunk driving.”

According to the study, the beer industry directly employs more than one million people, paying $32.5 billion in wages. Beer sales help support roughly 900,000 retail jobs, including those at supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, bars, stadiums and other outlets. Supplier and induced impacts generate nearly $135.7 billion in economic activity in all industries specifically agriculture and manufacturing.

“These numbers demonstrate that our industry continues to play an integral role in providing jobs and revenue necessary to heal our recovering economy,” said Joe McClain, 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 aids economic growth.”

“In addition to providing quality jobs with solid wages, the three-tier beer distribution system provides transparency and accountability while offering American consumers with tremendous choice and variety – nearly 13,000 different labels of beer – at a great value,” 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.”

The beer industry also plays a role in promoting responsible consumption of its products. Brewers, importers, and independent beer distributors, licensed at both the state and federal levels, dedicate significant resources to develop public safety, education and prevention campaigns and to promote federal and local programs that help reduce underage drinking and drunk driving. These efforts, along with those of parents, law enforcement, federal and state alcohol beverage regulators, educators, and other community groups, have helped contribute to declines in underage drinking and drunk driving for nearly three decades, according to government data.

On the state level the beer industry also has made a significant impact. For example, in California it contributes $33.2 billion annually to the economy, as well as $19.7 billion annually in Texas, $13.8 billion annually in Florida and $13.2 billion annually in New York.

The Economic Impact study was conducted by John Dunham & Associates based in New York City and covers data compiled in 2010. 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. The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents the interests of America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country.

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