Beer Serves America

Beer Serves America is a biennual economic impact study commissioned by the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association. The U.S. brewing industry is a dynamic part of our national economy, contributing billions of dollars in wages and taxes.

The Beer Serves America economic impact study is conducted biennially by the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association to measure the full impact of beer in the United States.

An indication of beer’s importance is its inclusion in the basket of goods the government uses to calculate the Consumer Price Index.

The combined economic impact of brewers, distributors, retailers, our supply-chain partners and induced industries totaled more than $246.5 billion dollars in 2012. The industry today includes more than 2,800 brewers and importer establishments and over 3,700 beer distributor facilities across the country. Our retail partners are also important contributors – the current official beer outlet count for the industry by TDLinx includes over 576,000 beer selling retail establishments. The industry’s economic ripple effect benefits agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transportation and many other businesses whose livelihood depends on the beer industry.

Directly and indirectly, the beer industry employs more than 2 million Americans, providing nearly $79 billion in wages and benefits. The industry pays over $49 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes.

Consumer interest in beers, ales and other malt beverages is growing. Today there are thousands of brands available for consumers in the marketplace. Due to industry growth, there are now more than 2,700 permitted brewers, according to the TTB.

U.S. brewers also continue to develop growing markets abroad, now exporting products to more than 150 countries around the world.

For a table of U.S. statistics on jobs, wages, and taxes, select your state from the below map.

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State Data at a Glance

State Data at a Glance

When most people think about the attributes of beer, words like crisp and refreshing come to mind. But our products mean a lot more than that. We directly employ more than two million Americans in virtually every corner of the U.S. See how the brewing and beer wholesaling industry makes a difference in your state.

State Legislative & Congressional District Data

The brewing and beer wholesaling industry impacts almost every community in America.

See how the brewing and beer wholesaling industry impacts your U.S. Congressional or state legislative district.

Economic Ripple Effect

The beer industry benefits tens of thousands of individuals, companies and communities in ways you might not expect.

The beer industry’s economic impact spreads throughout the nation to individuals and companies providing products and services needed for the production, distribution and sale of malt beverages. In fact, more than 2 million Americans are at work because of beer, earning nearly $79 billion in wages and benefits. 

For example, brewers purchase grains, hops and other raw materials from farmers in Arkansas, California, Colorado, the Dakotas, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The industry also purchases equipment and machinery for breweries, packaging for beverages, shipping services, and marketing and advertising services. Each year the industry spends billions of dollars for needed products and services.

These businesses in turn purchase products and services from other businesses, continuing the spread of economic benefits. And employees in all companies spend their earnings on personal purchases.

Thus, economic activity started by the malt beverage industry generates output and jobs in hundreds of other industries, often in states far removed from the original economic activity.

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Beer Excise Tax Payments

Beer Excise Tax Payments

On top of the standard real estate, income and sales taxes that businesses pay, U.S. brewers pay excise taxes to federal, state, and even some local governments.

The federal excise tax was first imposed during the Civil War as a temporary measure to support the Union army. Brewers paid a tax for each barrel of beer sold.

In 1990, as part of the effort to balance the budget, taxes on beer and luxury items were increased. For large brewers, the beer excise tax doubled, from $9 to $18 a barrel.

Each year U.S. brewers, importers and distributors pay over $3.6 billion in federal excise taxes and almost $1.7 billion in state excise taxes. Ultimately these expenses are passed on to consumers.

Today, over 40 percent of the cost of a bottle of beer is for taxes, including federal and state excise taxes. The last time federal beer excise taxes were raised, it was devastating to the industry. Sales declined by 4.3 million barrels and tens of thousands of Americans lost their jobs.

Since that time, most of the luxury tax increases have been repealed, but the beer excise tax increase remains. The beer industry feels this is an unfair burden for beer drinkers, who typically fall in the lower and middle classes.

The brewing industry is actively supporting a rollback of the 1990 excise tax increase. This would provide relief for the lower and middle classes, allow brewers and wholesalers to expand and hire more workers, and ultimately boost the American economy.

For additional statistics on taxes, select your state from the pull-down to the right or view research reports from the Beer Institute.

Click here to see your tax burden in your state.


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State & Regional Jobs

State & Regional Jobs

The brewing industry has a presence in every state of the union and every congressional district.

Select your state from the Congressional District Data to see information on jobs, wages and taxes. Each table was developed with standard econometric models.

Direct Impact represents the output of the economic contribution that the malt beverage industry immediately provides to the regional economy.

Supplier Impact shows the effects of direct spending on regional supplier firms and their employees.

Induced Impact reflects the economic effect resulting from savings, investment and consumer spending by industry and supplier employees.

The table also shows jobs and economic activity in each state for affiliated industries, including agriculture, transportation and entertainment. This clearly shows the impact of the brewing industry on varied other industries in the country.


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Nationwide Workforce

Nationwide Workforce

Directly and indirectly, the U.S. brewing industry employs 2 million Americans, earning nearly $79 billion in wages and benefits.

The U.S. brewing industry includes over 2,800 brewing related establishments and importers, 3,700 distributor establishments and 576,000 retailer outlets. Numerous other businesses depend on the industry for their livelihood, including farmers, packaging manufacturers and advertising agencies.

Approximately 43,900 Americans work for the nation’s large and small breweries and importers, taking home $3.6 billion a year in wages and benefits. The U.S. Department of Labor found their wages to be among the highest of 350 industries surveyed.

Over 129,500 people work for distributors and more than 900,000 work for retail outlets that sell beer.


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Raw Material Purchases: Agriculture

Raw Material Purchases: Agriculture

Brewers purchase more than $850 million in raw materials from farmers across the country.

The basic ingredients in beer are barley, the hops, water and yeast. Varieties of beer use rice, corn, wheat, sorghum, and other grains. Every year, U.S. brewers purchase:

  • 4.8 billion pounds of barley malt grown or processed in California, Colorado, the Dakotas, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming
  • 1.8 billion pounds of rice, corn and other grains from Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas
  • 15 million pounds of hops from Idaho, Oregon and Washington
  • The economic contribution of these industries to their states is tremendous

For specific tables of statistics on raw materials purchased by brewers, please view the Brewers Almanac


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Beer Statistics

Beer Statistics

The Beer Institute is the leading source for research and information for the U.S. brewing industry.

The Beer Institute is the leading source for research and information for the U.S. brewing industry.

Working with brewers, suppliers, as well as federal, state and local resources, the Beer Institute provides data and analyses on shipments, imports, exports, taxation, agricultural supplies, per capita consumption and various social indicators. Click or scroll below to learn more.

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Latest Statistics

Latest Statistics

Get the latest updates on the U.S. Malt Beverage Industry.

Get the latest updates on the U.S. malt beverage industry. Additional information is available to Beer Institute Members.

If you are interested in obtaining more in-depth information as a member of the Beer Institute, please reference the Membership section.

You may also visit the Brewers Almanac for detailed historical industry statistics.

Current monthly time series data (January 2006 to March 2013) for the U.S. malt beverage industry are available here Monthly Industry Update .

Per Capita Consumption Rankings

Per capita consumption ranking for 2012 

For prior years, please see the Brewers Almanac. 

Domestic Tax Paid Releases

December 2012 Domestic Tax Paid Release (1/24/2013)

January 2013 Domestic Tax Paid Release (2/28/2013)

February 2013 Domestic Tax Paid Release (3/28/2013)

March_2013_Domestic Tax Paid Release (4/30/2013)

April_2013_Domestic Tax Paid Release (5/23/2013) 

May 2013_Domestic Tax Paid Release (6/20/2013)

June 2013 Domestic Tax Paid Release (7/31/13) 

July 2013 Domestic Tax Paid Release (8/22/13)

August 2013 Domestic Tax Paid Release (9/19/13) 

September 2013 Domestic Tax Paid Release (10/31/13)  

October 2013 Domestic Tax Paid Release (11/26/13)   

November 2013 Domestic Tax Paid Release (12/20/13) 

December 2013 Domestic Tax Paid Release (1/23/14)

January 2014 Domestic Tax Paid Release (2/27/14)

February 2014 Domestic Tax Paid Release (3/20/14)

March 2014 Domestic Tax Paid Release (5/7/14)

April 2014 Domestic Tax Paid Release (5/22/14)

May 2014 Domestic Tax Paid Release (6/26/14)

June 2014 Domestic Tax Paid Release (7/31/14)  

July 2014 Domestic Tax Paid Release (8/21/14)   

August 2014 Domestic Tax Paid Release (9/25/14)   

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Brewers Almanac

Brewers Almanac

The Brewers Almanac provides a wealth of information and statistics covering the beer industry.

A wide range of statistical information including production, tax-paid withdrawals, tax collections, consumption (total, state-by-state and per capita), agricultural statistics, imports, exports, financial statistics, employment, excise tax rates and methods of collection, and draft/package trends. 

Brewers Almanac 2013

 Updated (3/28/2013)

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Presentations Intro

Presentations & Studies

The Beer Institute provides a wealth of background information covering the beer industry.

Presentations

Presentations

A series of statistical updates. Click below to download in PowerPoint format. 

Statistical Update - Summer 2006 Statistical Update - August 2006

Statistical Update - Winter 2007 Statistical Update - January 2007

Statistical Update - Craft Brewers Conference Statistical Update and Packaging Trends - April 2007

Statistical Update - 2008 Annual Industry Update - June 2009.

Statistical Update - 2011 Draft Beer Industry Update - October 2011.

Statistcal Update - 2012 Draft Beer Industry Update - May 2013.


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View and Download Presentations
Studies

Studies

A series of studies undertaken by the Beer Institute. 

Beer Serves America

The Beer Serves America study examines the economic impact of the entire beer industry, including brewers, importers, distributors, retailers and the supply chain. The bi-annual study includes state-by-state and congressional district breakdowns of economic contributions of the beer industry.

Tax Facts 

Updated Tax Facts on the US Beer Industry.

Excise Tax Regressivity

Excise taxes violate tax both major tax fairness principles, but especially do so for the aspect concerned with people paying taxes in accordance with their capacity to pay them. As such, beer taxes impose a tax burden directly opposite that of progressive taxes and are even less fair than a flat tax. Beer taxes are regressive because they take up a greater share of income for lower- and middle-income households to pay the tax than they do for higher income households. 

Tax Burden on the Industry

The tax burden borne by beer consumers is more than 68% higher than the average for the U.S. economy. Taxes represent 40.8% of the retail price of beer. In comparison, total Federal, state, and local taxes equal 24.2% of final sales of all products (GNP) in the U.S.

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Other Resources

Additional resources and links for research on the Malt Beverage Industry.


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Beer History Intro

Beer History

One of the oldest beverages known to humankind, beer has an interesting and colorful history. Click on the sections below to learn more. 

Discovery

Discovery

Anthropologists can only guess how it happened, and their guesswork goes something like this...

Once, in the camp of some nomadic hunter-gatherers, there was a supply of wild grain, painstakingly collected for food. Somehow, possibly in a sudden rainstorm, a pool of warm water formed where the grain was stored. In a short time the grain fermented, turning the water into a thick dark liquid. Some adventurous soul among these primitive people sampled the liquid, and found that it tasted good.

Man had discovered beer. From that time to the present, beer has been an important part of life in virtually every society on earth. It was brewed by the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians and Chinese. It has been used in religious rituals, depicted on coins, honored in epic sagas. Through all the centuries, in moments of triumph and celebration and fellowship, no drink has contributed more to man's enjoyment than beer.

America’s brewers are proud to continue the great tradition of beer. 


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Beer and Civilization

Beer and Civilization

How the discovery of beer led to civilization as we know it.

According to one prominent anthropologist, what lured our ancient ancestors out of their caves may not have been a thirst for knowledge, but a thirst for beer.

Dr. Solomon Katz theorizes that when man learned to ferment grain into beer more than 10,000 years ago, it became one of his most important sources of nutrition. Beer gave people protein that unfermented grain couldn't supply. And besides, it tasted a whole lot better than the unfermented grain did.

But in order to have a steady supply of beer, it was necessary to have a steady supply of beer's ingredients. Man had to give up his nomadic ways, settle down, and begin farming. And once he did, civilization was just a stone's throw away.

After civilization got rolling, beer was always an important part of it. Noah carried beer on the ark. Sumerian laborers received rations of it. Egyptians made it from barley, Babylonians made it from wheat, and Incas made it from corn.

And so it went, through the centuries. From ancient times to the present day, beer has been an important part of celebration and good fellowship.

And while America's brewers were not making beer in ancient times, we are proud to provide Americans with beers of exceptional quality today.

We hope you will find yourself at a party or other gathering where beer adds to your enjoyment. If so, we suggest you toast our primitive ancestors.

Without their ingenuity, life would be very different, indeed. We wouldn't have fire, the wheel, or any of the other rewards of civilization. Including one of the best rewards of all: beer itself.


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Ancient Beer Facts

Ancient Beer Facts

Some surprising findings that may be new to you. 

  Prized possessions were often buried with the remains of important officials in ancient Mesopotamia. A glittering metal tube discovered in one tomb proved to be a golden straw for sipping beer.

  Barley for brewing was so important to the early Romans that they honored the grain on their gold and silver coins.

  Historians have called beer the national drink of ancient Egypt. The pharoahs appointed a "royal chief beer inspector" to protect its quality.

  Long before the time of Confucius, the Chinese brewed with millet, a cereal grain. According to the very old sacred books, beer played an important role in early Chinese religious rituals.


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The Pilgrims and Beer

The Pilgrims and Beer

If the Mayflower had been carrying more beer, it might never have landed at Plymouth Rock.

When the Pilgrims sailed for America, they hoped to find a place to settle where the farmland would be rich and the climate congenial. Instead, they found themselves struggling with the stony soil and harsh winters of New England. And all because of a shortage of beer.

An entry in the diary of a Mayflower passenger explains the unplanned landing at Plymouth Rock: "We could not now take time for further search...our victuals being much spent, especially our beer..."

That may have been the last time America's settlers ran short of beer. They soon learned from their Indian neighbors how to make beer from maize. Local breweries sprouted up throughout the colonies, and experienced brewmasters were eagerly recruited from London. By 1770 the American brewing industry was so well established that George Washington, Patrick Henry and other patriots argued for a boycott of English beer imports. The Boston Tea Party almost became the Boston Beer Party.

William Penn wrote that the beer in his colony was made of "Molasses...well boyled, with Sassafras or Pine infused into it." The taste of such a concoction must have been interesting, especially from the popular drinking vessel of the period: a waxed leather tankard known as a "black jack."

In 1637, the legislature of the Massachusetts Bay Colony met to fix the price of beer. After lengthy deliberation, the new price was announced: "not more than one penny a quart at the most."

All that, of course, is history. But the enjoyment of beer remains as important to Americans today as it was to our colonial forebears. And America's brewers are proud to contribute to that enjoyment.

The next time you're enjoying a beer, you might think about the poor Pilgrims who had to settle for the bitter conditions in New England when they might have sailed on to Miami Beach. The moral is clear: always make sure you have enough beer on hand.

By law, beer in Colonial America had to be served in standard half-pint, pint or quart vessels. When tin could no longer be imported from England, American pewter production stopped. It then became fashionable to melt down and recast old pewter mugs from England.

While beer has been made from many different grains through the ages, barley has proven to be the world's most valued brewing ingredient. In fact, the word beer itself probably comes from the old Anglo-Saxon word baere, meaning barley.


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Beer and George Washington

Beer and George Washington

He fought the British for independence and Congress for beer.

One of George Washington's first acts as Commander of the Continental Army was to proclaim that every one of his troops would receive a quart of beer with his daily rations.

As the Revolutionary War progressed, however, supplies of beer dwindled. And an irate Washington had to do battle with another opponent – the Continental Congress – in order to have his troops' rations restored.

Perhaps Washington's interest in beer had something to do with the fact that he was an accomplished brewmaster himself. The father of our country maintained a private at Mount Vernon. And his handwritten recipe for beer – said by his peers to be superb – is still on display at the New York Public Library.

Inspired by the Boston Tea Party, colonial rebels met in New York's Fraunces Tavern to plan a similar raid on British ships in the Hudson River. After the surrender of Cornwallis, the same tavern was the scene of George Washington's famous farewell speech to his officers.

Nor was George Washington the only founding father with a passion for beer. Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and James Madison eagerly promoted America's fledgling brewing industry. And Thomas Jefferson was said to have composed the first draft of the Declaration Independence over a cold draft at the Indian Queen tavern in Philadelphia.

These great men would no doubt be pleased that the enjoyment of beer remains an American tradition to this day. And America's brewers are proud to be an important part of that tradition.

We hope you find an occasion to enjoy a beer in the very near future. And when you do, we suggest you gather your friends and drink a toast to George Washington. The man who was first in war, first in peace, and almost certainly first in the esteem of his thirsty troops.

Colonial Americans used the term "small beer" to describe home brew which was generally lower in alcohol than commercially prepared "strong beer." George Washington's personal recipe called for a generous measure of molasses.


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Founding Fathers and Beer

Founding Fathers and Beer

Celebrate America's Holidays the way the men who started them did: with a glass of beer.

It is widely known that the framers of American Independence were men of vision, courage and wisdom. Less well known is the fact that they were also great imbibers of beer.

Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams and James Madison vigorously promoted the brewing industry in the colonies. George Washington operated a small brewery at Mount Vernon. And during the Revolutionary War, he made sure his troops received a quart of beer each day. In their fondness for beer, these great men were only following an American tradition that was already well established. No sooner had the colonies of Pennsylvania, Vermont and New York been founded, than their governors established breweries to provide their subjects with refreshment. Since the first of these was built in 1623, it can be seen that the practice of enjoying beer in America is older than America itself. 

America observed its 50th birthday on July 4, 1826. By that time there were already hundreds of breweries to help the new nation celebrate.

Thomas Jefferson wrote much of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia's Indian Queen Tavern. Later, after two terms as President, he experimented with brewing techniques during his retirement years at Monticello.

Our founding fathers would no doubt be pleased at the role beer has come to play in American life today. It is as much a part of our Fourth of July and Memorial Day celebrations as the sound of a parade or the smell of a barbeque.

From the eastern seaboard to the Pacific coast, it's a traditional part of a family reunion, a day at the beach, or an afternoon at the ballpark. And the traditional reward for mowing the lawn, clipping the hedge, or cleaning the garage.

So the next time a national holiday provides an occasion to celebrate with a beer, why not toast the men who made it all possible.


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All Recipes

Almost any food can be made a little better with beer. Try some of our favorite recipes – and let us know how you like them. 

Because beer is such a satisfying, cooling beverage, many people forget that it is also one of the world's greatest seasoning agents. Used properly, beer turns the most ordinary foods into exceptional party fare! As a marinade for meat, fish or seafood, it tenderizes. In roasting, baking or broiling, beer is used to baste the foods or as an ingredient in the basting sauce to impart a rich, dark color and highlight the gravy. 

Used in place of water as the simmering liquid, beer brings out all the richness of the meat and vegetables. The alcohol evaporates in the cooking, leaving only the delicate flavors to intrigue the diner.

As a baking liquid, beer is unsurpassed. It adds a lightness and buoyancy to biscuits, pancakes, cakes and a variety of homemade breads. Experiment with beer as all or part of the liquid in packaged mixes to reconstitute instant or freeze-dried foods.

The Beer Institute receives thousands of requests for recipes using that extra-special ingredient, beer. The recipes in this booklet have proven to be the most popular. And as they show, beer cooking can be easy, successful and featured in every course.

Here are your "Favorite Recipes with Beer" - all extra-special when served with sparkling glasses or mugs of beer.

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Beer Tips

Beer Tips

Beer deserves a certain kind of tender loving care. Here are a few handy tips. 

Temperature

Experience shows that most people prefer drinking beer which is chilled to about 40 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 6 degrees Celsius). This is when beer tastes most delicious. It's a temperature best obtained by storing beer on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, away from the freezing section. Once removed from the refrigerator, beer should be served before it warms up. For a large party, beer may be chilled in any large container. Let the ice melt and add cold water. Check water temperature with a thermometer, if available. Just keep your beer cans or bottles in this cold water.

Opening and Storing Beer

Open your cans or bottles with care; be sure not to shake or agitate. Always store beer in a cool, dark place, away from the light. This helps protect the rich body and strength always present in U.S. beers. When chilling, place in the bottom of your refrigerator, away from your freezing or coldest compartment. Keep a supply there always.

Keep bottle openers and can openers in good condition. Faulty openers can cause chipping or cracking of bottles and denting of cans.

Serving

There are many ways to serve beer. Beer gives an added pleasure when served from a glass or mug. The tall tapering pilsner and the graceful hollow-stemmed goblet are especially popular glasses for entertaining, because they lend such a glamourous air to such an inexpensive beverage.

Glasses

Beer and ale taste fine when served from many types of glasses-ceramic, glass and pewter mugs all are appropriate.

For picnics, paper beer cups are available in many sizes. The fine taste is preserved by the special coating on the cups. For large crowds, it's easier to use these containers.

You'll get the best sparkle in your beer when your glasses sparkle. Any trace of grease or soap or lint from a towel will cut down beer enjoyment. Use a soap-free odorless, cleaning agent or a detergent. Baking soda is excellent, too.

A clean beer glass is necessary to acquire the proper foam and flavor. If washed properly, there will be no bubbles clinging to the side of the glass. The foam will adhere to the inside of the glass in a ring design.

Always rinse glasses thoroughly in clean cool water, preferably running water. Do not dry glasses. Allow to drain freely so air can circulate in them. Another expert tip is to dip the clean glass into cold rinse water before serving. (Try these secrets and you will serve a perfect glass of beer.)

Pouring of The Brew

There's an art in pouring beer. Some people like a high foamy collar; some a short one. You can obtain a fine creamy head by letting the beer splash into the glass. A good way to achieve the foam you desire is to tilt the glass and begin pouring the beer down the side, then straighten the glass and pour into the center. You will quickly learn how to build a high or low head by varying the distance between the can or bottle and the glass.

Many experts recommend that you pour beer directly into a glass. They claim you have a better looking glass of beer this way and it's more flavorful. But remember to find your favorite way of pouring beer and stick to it. It's your personal preference that is most important.

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Quick Suppers

Quick Suppers

A few fairly quick and easy recipes to try. As an example, the famous Welsh Rarebit is actually nothing more than melted cheese thinned with beer. In modern dips based on cheese or a combination of cheeses, a little beer in the mixture makes them truly outstanding.

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Bread with Beer

Bread with Beer

As a baking liquid, beer is unsurpassed. It adds a lightness and buoyancy to biscuits, pancakes, cakes, and a variety of homemade breads. Yummy beer bread, please.

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Salads

Salads

What salad can't be made more interesting with beer? Try some of our favorites. 

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Desserts

Desserts

Have a sweet tooth? These recipes offer some delicious choices, all improved by beer, of course.  

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Entrees

Entrees

What's a main course without a beer infusion? No matter how you like your protein, you'll like it a little better with beer in the mix. 

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Vegetables

Vegetables

We had you at "Beer Potato Salad," didn't we? Thought so. 

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Starters

Starters

Beer brings people together. Especially with these amazing starter recipes. 

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Basting Sauces

Basting Sauces

As a marinade for meat, fish or seafood, beer tenderizes. In roasting, baking or broiling, beer is used to baste the foods or as an ingredient in the basting sauce to impart a rich, dark color and highlight the gravy. Let us know what you think of these dishes. 

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