Every coupla yrs Beer Inst and NBWA put out Beer Serves America, an economic study that totes up the industry’s impact. The numbers are impressive, natch, and provide both the industry’s scope (across tiers, across states, across revenue streams and business sizes) and create a “context for the policy piece to help people understand this industry,” as Beer Inst prexy Jim McGreevy told INSIGHTS. And a hard number, like 134K directly employed in beer distribution alone, up 24% over the last decade, “gives the industry a different kind of heft,” as NBWA’s Craig Purser said. Brewers provide more direct jobs than coal industry now, Craig noted. Then too, brewer and beer distrib jobs tend to be high quality, living wages with solid benefits to boot, so biz has both a quantity and quality story to tell, Craig sez. And that’s on top of beer’s great “social story,” as a bev that brings people together for good times, as Jim suggested. Beer’s impact touches almost every community in US, whether it’s rural farmers, brewery/distrib locations, retail outlets or port cities where beer comes in, this report reminds. Another aspect of scope: beer biz has low barriers of entry, NBWA economist Lester Jones points out. You have everything from tiny breweries starting up for modest equipment outlays, to distribs with a permit and a coupla trucks, all the way up to mega-brewers investing billions in cap ex, as we saw last week with AB InBev announcement.
Topline: report prepared by John Dunham and Associates based on industry and govt data shows US beer biz, including suppliers, farmers, brewers, importers, distribs, retailers, etc, generate over 2.23 mil jobs, paying over $100 mil in wages/benefits and contributing over $350 bil in total economic activity, near 2% of total GDP. That includes over $63 bil in total taxes. Brewers and importers directly employ 64,745 Americans, about 58% of them by large/mid-sized companies. Brewing employment, according to the study, “is growing at nine times the rate of total US employment,” thanks to 6K plus companies that produce or import malt bevs. In addition to those 134K workers in beer distribution, there are over 900K retail jobs. Jobs among brewers, suppliers and wholesalers up in recent yrs as new brewers/brands have gotten established and new mkts opened, noted Craig.