U.S. Beer Sales Rank #1 on 4th of July

Industry Contributing Billions to Nation's Economy

BI Raising Awareness of Keg Theft this Holiday Weekend

Teaming up to Prevent Underage Drinking and Drunk Driving

Jul 01, 2008, 01:00 ET from The Beer Institute

    WASHINGTON, July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ? Celebrating our nation's
 independence is a time-honored tradition, typically marked by barbeques,
 fireworks -- and also, a cold beer.
     Top Period for Beer Sales
     Last year, July 4th was the biggest beer-selling holiday of the year,
 with beer sales at supermarkets across the country topping 23 million cases
 during the holiday period, according to The Nielsen Company. Beer sales
 during this period also accounted for approximately 5.2 percent of total
 annual beer sales in 2007, helping generate billions of dollars in economic
 activity for our nation.
     Major Economic Contributions
     Rising sales of beer are contributing heftily to the U.S. economy -
 nearly $190 billion, in fact. According to an economic impact study
 commissioned jointly by the Beer Institute and the National Beer
 Wholesalers Association (NBWA), the beer industry also contributes more
 than 1.7 million jobs paying almost $55 billion in wages annually. The
 production of beer helps support other segments of the economy as well. For
 example, the study showed more than $4 billion in economic contributions
 for the agricultural sector, including malting barley ($537.8 million),
 hops ($280.7 million), brewers rice ($222.9 million), and brewers corn
 ($58.4 million).
     Promoting Responsibility
     In addition to bolstering the U.S. economy, the beer industry devotes
 considerable time and resources into campaigns that promote the responsible
 consumption of its products. This summer, the Beer Institute again
 announced its support for a federal government social responsibility
 campaign called "We Don't Serve Teens" (WDST). The campaign aims to promote
 awareness among parents, legal-age siblings and other adults - the primary
 sources of alcohol for those under 21 - about the consequences of providing
 alcohol to minors. More information can be found at the program's site,
     Due to the hard work of the beer industry, parents, law enforcement,
 educators, federal and state alcohol beverage regulators, and other
 community groups, illegal underage drinking and drunk driving have declined
 over the past 25 years. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation,
 the number of fatalities in drunk-driving crashes during the 4th of July
 holiday has declined 31 percent since 1982. In addition, according to the
 federal government's most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 83
 percent of adolescents, ages 12 to 17, are doing the right thing by not
     Preventing Keg Theft
     As beer consumption rises during the July 4th holiday, so does the
 problem of keg theft. It is estimated that the beer industry loses more
 than 300,000 kegs each year, primarily due to thieves seeking to sell them
 to scrap metal dealers. Keg loss is a major financial burden for brewers
 and beer importers, costing the industry more than $50 million each year.
     "The Beer Institute has been quite successful in raising awareness
 about the rising cost of keg theft to local businesses and consumers. Now,
 we're cracking down on the problem and seeing real results," Beer Institute
 President Jeff Becker said. "For example, since 2007 nearly 30 states have
 passed keg loss or scrap metal legislation to prevent theft." Brewers are
 also reminding retailers and bar owners to exercise vigilance this holiday
 weekend, and secure any loose kegs on their property.
     The complete Beer Serves America Economic Impact study, including
 state-by-state and congressional district breakdowns of economic
 contributions, is available at the Beer Serves America Web site,
     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