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As Summer Beckons, New Study Finds Beer Adds Cool $328 Billion to U.S. Economy

May 24, 2019 by Dan McCue

Beer produced in America contributes $328 billion to the national economy annually, while helping to employ 2.1 million in industries ranging from farming to construction, according to a new study from the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

The release of the study, called the Beer Serves America economic report, comes just ahead of Memorial Day, which the two organizations called one of the top beer selling holidays of the year.

It is considered one of the most comprehensive analyses of the industry available, using data collected directly from private companies, Infogroup, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau  and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The study says there are currently 7,000 active breweries and more than 3,000 distributors in the United States, facilities that directly employ more than 200,000 Americans.

The institute, which is the national trade association for the American brewing industry, and the association said each one of these positions supports another 31 jobs in affiliated industries.

“Beer is more than America’s most popular alcohol beverage. The beer industry is vital to the United States, generating more than 2.1 million jobs and contributing $328 billion to the American economy,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute.

“Beer Serves America demonstrates how brewers, beer importers and beer industry suppliers are creating jobs, providing wages and benefits to working Americans and supporting the economy in every state and every congressional district,” he said.

Among other notable findings, the study found that the number of distributor jobs has increased by more than 19 percent in the last decade, to nearly 141,600, and that overall, the economic output of the beer industry is equal to about 1.6 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

Additionally, suppliers to the brewing industry — a category that includes the manufacturers of bottles and cans, cardboard case boxes and marketing displays — generate nearly $102 billion in economic activity alone and are responsible for the creation of almost 436,650 jobs.

Craig Purser, president and CEO of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, a group representing 3,000 independent beer distribution companies, said his industry is proud to employ 141,600 Americans in jobs that pay a collective $9.5 billion.

“Independent beer distributors are Main Street businesses whose economic contributions are felt in every community across the country as they work with brewers large and small to grow brands and safely deliver America’s favorite alcohol beverage to more than 640,000 licensed retailers nationwide,” Purser said.

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