New Study Shows Beer Industry Contributes $6.9 Billion Annually to Pennsylvania Economy

Apr 08, 2009, 13:44 ET from National Beer Wholesalers Association

Data Shows Quality Jobs, Solid Wages, and Overall Economic Impact

WASHINGTON, April 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new economic impact study shows that America's beer industry, made up of brewers, beer importers, beer distributors, brewer suppliers, and retailers, directly and indirectly contributes $6,892,773,103 annually to Pennsylvania's economy. The study, commissioned by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Beer Institute, also shows that the industry's economic impact in Pennsylvania includes 64,658 jobs -- paying $2,051,323,601 in wages -- as well as $489,745,376 in federal, state, and local taxes.

"Beer distributors are proud providers of 95,000 quality jobs with solid wages and great benefits in every state and congressional district across the country," said Phil Terry, chief executive officer of Monarch Beverage Company in Indianapolis, Indiana, and chairman of NBWA. "As privately-owned businesses, beer distributors are invested in their communities and work hard to ensure the effective state-based system of alcohol regulation, which works to keep communities and consumers safe."

"America's brewing industry continues to play a pivotal role in supporting this nation's economic viability," said Tom Long, president and chief commercial officer of MillerCoors, and chairman of the Beer Institute. "Brewers in Pennsylvania have been a driving force in their communities for years by creating jobs and tax revenue for public services, and promoting alcohol awareness responsibility initiatives for retailers, schools, and families."

According to the study, the beer industry directly employs 33,874 people in Pennsylvania, paying them $862,350,500 in wages. The 483 beer distributors in Pennsylvania employ 5,377 people. Large and small brewers and beer importers employ approximately 1,451 people. Beer sales help support roughly 27,045 jobs at licensed retailers, which include supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, bars, stadiums and other outlets.

"In addition to providing quality jobs with solid wages, the three-tier beer distribution system provides transparency and accountability and works to keep American consumers safe," added NBWA President Craig Purser. "This time-tested, effective system of state controls, in which America's beer distributors play a critical role, works to ensure alcoholic beverages are sold only to licensed retailers who in turn are responsible for selling only to adults of legal drinking age."

Nationally, the beer industry directly and indirectly contributes more than $198 billion annually to the U.S. economy and provides nearly 1.9 million jobs -- generating nearly $62 billion in wages and benefits. The industry also paid $41 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes in 2008. Consumption taxes included $3.8 billion in federal excise taxes, $1.7 billion in state excise taxes and $5.7 billion in state and local sales taxes.

"These numbers demonstrate that our industry is essential to several sectors of the U.S. economy, particularly as the nation struggles to regain its footing in this uncertain climate," said Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute. "For this reason, it is important that state and federal officials consider equitable tax policies that do not unduly harm an industry that provides so many domestic jobs and so much economic growth."

In addition to strengthening the Pennsylvania and U.S. economy, the industry plays a significant role in promoting responsible consumption of its products. Beer distributors (which are licensed by the state and the federal government), brewers and importers have invested in communities across the country to develop and implement programs that promote responsibility and help fight alcohol abuse. These efforts, along with those of parents, law enforcement, federal and state alcohol beverage regulators, educators and other community groups, have worked to contribute to declines in illegal underage drinking and drunk driving over the past two decades, according to independent and government data.

The Economic Impact study was conducted by John Dunham & Associates based in New York City and covers data compiled in 2008. The complete study, including state-by-state and congressional district breakdowns of economic contributions, is available at Beer Serves America,

The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents the interests of 2,800 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Beer distributors are committed to ensuring alcohol is provided safely and responsibly to consumers of legal drinking age through the three-tier, state-based system of alcohol regulation and distribution. To learn more about America's Beer Distributors, visit

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:

SOURCE National Beer Wholesalers Association