WASHINGTON, April 7, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, America's brewers and beer importers will begin celebrating the 75th anniversary of the first legal beer deliveries in the United States following Prohibition. For millions of workers and consumers, America's beer industry has grown exponentially into an economic force, creating and supporting millions of jobs and contributing billions of dollars to federal, state, and local economies annually. The repeal of Prohibition also ushered in a new era of responsibility in how alcohol is regulated and consumed. "The last 75 years powerfully demonstrate that a healthy beer industry strengthens our overall economy," said Beer Institute President Jeff Becker. "Looking forward, fair tax policies are essential to ensuring that brewers and beer importers can continue supporting the more than 1.7 million jobs we've created and $190 billion provided annually to the economy." Today, the beer industry is burdened with an excessively high and regressive beer tax that unfairly hurts manufacturing employees and lower and middle-income consumers hardest. Since the federal beer tax doubled in 1991, approximately 60,000 Americans lost their jobs in brewing, distributing, retailing, and related industries. Rolling back the beer tax increase would provide a much-needed shot in the arm to the nation's struggling economy and help stimulate job growth. In addition to toasting the numerous economic benefits beer has delivered for the last three quarters of a century, brewers, beer importers, and suppliers are also using April 7 to celebrate the rich traditions and cultural heritage of beer in America. Just a few examples of the celebrations going on across the country: -- Anheuser-Busch's flagship brand, Budweiser, will celebrate the milestone with a variety of events, including a re-broadcast of August A. Busch Jr.'s 1933 national radio address, an appearance by the Budweiser Clydesdales and a new historical exhibit on Prohibition at Anheuser-Busch's St. Louis tour center. -- Miller Brewing Company will play host to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who will present an official Proclamation declaring April 7 "Beer Day" throughout the entire City of Milwaukee. Barrett and Miller Brewing Company will call for Milwaukeeans to make a citywide beer toast celebrating the economic and entrepreneurial success the beer industry created in the city. "From coast to coast, our members stand united as we celebrate this important milestone," added Becker. "Together, we have built a strong record of growth and responsible community involvement, and that is something in which we can all take great pride." Brewers and beer importers spend millions of dollars annually on numerous civic and community programs. These include alcohol abuse prevention efforts, corporate philanthropy, and environmental initiatives. For more information on these programs and the industry's economic contributions, visit www.beerservesamerica.com. Although the national repeal of Prohibition did not become finalized until December 5, 1933, brewers and beer importers celebrate April 7 as a day of great significance in the industry's history. On April 7, 1933, the Cullen-Harrison Act took effect, which legalized the first sales of beer. To mark the occasion, President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously received shipments of beer at the White House from many brewers and a team of Budweiser Clydesdales delivered several cases at the U.S. Capitol. 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 Institute is committed to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility: www.beerinstitute.org.
SOURCE The Beer Institute