Especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be seen that bars, restaurants, sporting events and concerts are critical to the U.S. economy. The beer industry plays a key role in supporting jobs in the hospitality industry as well as jobs in farming, manufacturing, construction, transportation, and a myriad of other sectors.
Today, the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association released their biennial Beer Serves America report on the economic importance of the nation’s beer industry.
The study found the U.S. beer industry supports more than two million good-paying, local jobs and contributes more than $330 billion to our economy. Brewers and beer distributors directly employ nearly 210,000 Americans, and each job in the brewing industry generates another 30 jobs in other industries, including farming, transportation and hospitality. The impact of the beer industry is equivalent to 1.6% of the United States’ gross domestic product.
“As our nation builds back from the pandemic, we look forward to returning to bars, restaurants, stadiums and concerts. Gathering with friends and family to enjoy a cold beer supports the hard-working men and women across our nation whose jobs rely on a vibrant beer economy,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. “Last year, Congress came together in a bipartisan effort to prevent the federal excise tax on beer from increasing. Maintaining the current tax rate on the beer industry at the state and federal level will help support American jobs at a time of significant economic uncertainty. Today’s Beer Serves America economic report shows beer is an integral part of our American economy and American culture, and we take pride in this contribution.”
“The beer industry reflects the economy as a whole – both have suffered this past year but are showing resilience in the face of adversity,” said Craig Purser, president and CEO of the National Beer Wholesalers Association. “As our country continues to recover and reopen, Americans will be enjoying beers with friends and family at bars, restaurants, sporting events and other gatherings, supporting the more than two million jobs that rely on the beer industry. Beer helps bring people together and it will help drive the activity to fuel our economic recovery.”
Beer starts in the field, and the beer industry supports more than 36,000 agriculture jobs, including barley, hops and rice growers across the U.S.
“Hop growers rely on a vibrant and innovative beer industry to survive,” said Ann George, Hop Growers of America’s executive director. “Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, hop producers suffered from lost sales due to impacts on our customers in the brewing industry. This was exacerbated by yield reductions due to severe weather challenges and heavy smoke cover during the 2020 harvest. A strong beer industry ensures all its agriculture partners have the resources they need to thrive.”
“There are more than 5,500 rice farmers across the nation producing 20 billion pounds of rice annually and contributing more than $34 billion to the U.S. economy,” said Ben Mosely, vice president of government affairs for USA Rice. “The beer industry represents the largest end-user of rice in the United States, and we value the partnerships we have with brewers that share our commitment to environmental stewardship and that support the sustainability of rural communities/economies where rice is grown and milled.
The beer industry supports more than 70,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector from producing cans and bottles to kegs and packaging equipment.
“With more than 70,000 manufacturing jobs supported by the beer industry, we know a strong beer industry supports a strong manufacturing sector,” said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. “For every USD 1.00 spent in manufacturing, including for the beer industry, another USD 2.79 is added to the economy.”
“The aluminum can’s recycling circularity is what makes our package so unique. Recent data show that 95% of the cans collected for recycling get turned into new aluminum to make cans, said Robert Budway, president of the Can Manufacturers Institute. “Additionally, the brewers and beer drinkers know that aluminum cans, with its ability to protect against air and light, make it the perfect package for beer.”
Retail jobs make up most of the beer industry’s direct impact jobs. Beer is sold both on- and off-premises, in grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience stores, bars, restaurants, stadiums and other retail establishments representing more than 800,000 American jobs.
“Beer is an important part of the grocery supply chain, and its sale supports the nearly one million independent retail and wholesale grocery workers across the United States,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of the National Grocers Association.
One of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic was the hospitality sector, including bars, restaurants, sports arenas, concert venues and hotels. The Beer Institute, National Beer Wholesalers Association and American Beverage Licensees released a study showing the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated a loss of more than 568,000 jobs that depend on our nation’s beer industry, mainly in America’s hospitality industry.
“Between March 2020 and April 2021, restaurant and foodservice sales were down $290 billion from expected levels, and 90,000 restaurants have closed permanently or long-term. While there is a long road of rebuilding ahead, we are grateful to the beer industry and all they have done to support restaurants and our workforce as we welcome diners back to our tables,” said Tom Bené, president & CEO of the National Restaurant Association.
“After more than a year of shutdowns, layoffs and unprecedented challenges, America’s bars and taverns are starting to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite recent improvements, these small businesses still face a long road back to recovery. We encourage everyone to help these ‘friendliest places in town’ get back to what they do best: providing jobs and offering a ‘third place’ for people to gather and share their favorite beers and conversation,” said John Bodnovich, executive director of American Beverage Licensees.
Beer Serves America is a biennial report outlining the economic contributions, jobs and taxes the beer industry provides in every state and congressional district. More information is available at: http://beerservesamerica.org/