About the Beer Institute
The Beer Institute represents the $246.5 billion beer
industry. An industry that includes more than 2,800 breweries and 2 million jobs.
The Beer Institute was organized in 1986 to represent the beer industry before Congress, state legislatures and public forums across the country. It is committed to developing sound public policy that focuses on community involvement and personal responsibility.
As the recognized and authoritative source of information on aspects of the industry, the Beer Institute focuses on these principles through its representation, information and service. The Beer Institute assures a role for industry members in formulating public policy goals and works to implement our goals by providing representation before federal and state governmental bodies.
Today, the more than 2,800 breweries in the U.S. are responsible for billions of dollars that flow each year through channels of American trade and commerce. From agricultural products, can manufacturing, food processing, food stores and general retail, to wholesaling, construction and real estate, brewers, along with their wholesale and retail partners, directly or indirectly employ more than 2 million Americans who earn nearly $79 billion in wages and benefits.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more competitive
industry than beer. Despite that competitiveness, or perhaps because of it, we
have united to represent our common interests. We are the voice of the beer industry.
Today's beer brewers and importers operate not only in a competitive marketplace, but in a complex public policy environment as well. Legislative, regulatory and social challenges can directly affect brewers' day-to-day business activities and their outlook for the future.
Membership in the Beer Institute gives brewers and importers the opportunity to work together to maintain a progressive business environment for the future.
As the unifying force in promoting beer industry interests, the Beer Institute helps brewers, importers and their allies operate freely and grow responsibly in today's challenging legislative, regulatory and legal environment.
- Outreach to members of Congress
- Annual Brewer's Day event to lobby Congress
- Industry liaison to regulatory agencies such as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Health and Human Services, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Transportation, World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization and many others
- Brewers Almanac: An annual compilation of industry statistics, economic contributions, financial data and other industry information
- Package Mix Report: Information showing estimated package mix in each state (draught, cans, nonreturnable and refillable bottles)
- Monthly import and export reports
- Monthly state shipment reports
- Beer Serves America Study: A bi-annual economic impact study, including state-by-state and congressional district breakdowns of economic contributions of the beer industry
- Beer Institute Annual Membership Meeting: An opportunity for brewers, importers, suppliers and others working in the brewing industry to discuss issues
- Coordinating the efforts of industry attorneys and providing legal support wherever appropriate
- Communication materials such as the Beer Institute monthly newsletter and Annual Report
A vocal minority of critics continues to use misleading science and slanted polling data to call for unwarranted restrictions on the beer industry. More than ever, brewers and their allies must join together to communicate to policymakers, opinion leaders and the media the facts about the industry, its issues and the significant progress that has been made in the fight against alcohol abuse.
The volatile legislative and regulatory environment in which the industry operates requires a unified, focused effort to effect change that benefits the entire brewing industry. By steering consensus and speaking with one voice before federal and state legislatures, executive branch agencies and in legal proceedings, the Beer Institute can help sustain a positive environment in which brewers and their allies do business.
Besides giving brewers a strong, credible voice in Washington, the Beer Institute provides a variety of services to help brewers succeed. The Institute's advisory committees provide member companies with a forum to discuss public policy issues affecting our industry and receive feedback on the results of industry programs. The Beer Institute also helps foster more effective relationships within the industry through a coalition that includes brewer associations, distributor associations, retail associations and allied industry groups. This coalition promotes unified action and improved communication and cooperation.
The Beer Institute is also the leading source for research and information in the brewing industry. Working with brewers, importers, suppliers, consultants and others, the Beer Institute provides data and analyses on such matters as taxation, agricultural product supplies, domestic and export sales, trends in per capita consumption and advertising expenditures, and various social indicators.
To receive a membership packet, please complete this form. Please note that the Beer Institute membership is open to brewers, importers and industry suppliers only.
The Beer Institute represents the interests of the
entire beer industry. So not surprisingly, our members include everyone from
America’s largest brewers to some of the country’s smallest.
One Busch Place
St. Louis, MO 63118-1852
250 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, Il 60606
Crown Imports LLC
1 South Dearborn, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60603
Heineken USA, Inc.
360 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 1103
White Plains, NY 10601-1103
Brooklyn Brewery Corp.
118 North 11th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
A. L. Gilbert Company
P.O. Box 38
Oakdale, CA 95361
Abita Brewing Company, Inc.
100 Leveson Street
Abita Springs, LA 70420-0762
Alaskan Brewing Company
5429 Shaune Drive
Juneau, AK 99801
All About Beer Magazine
501-H Washington Street
Durham, NC 27701
Allagash Brewing Company
50 Industrial Way
Portland, ME 04103 Durham, NC 27701
Anchor Brewing Company
1705 Mariposa Street
San Francisco, CA 94107-2334
Atlantic Brewing Company
15 Knox Road
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
9300 West 108th Circle
Broomfield, CO 80021-3682
Bayhawk Ales, Inc.
2000 Main St., Suite A
Irvine, CA 92614
Beer Business Daily
601 E. Ashby Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS, Inc.
P.O. Box 264
West Nyack, NY 10994-0264
Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
8938 Krum Avenue
Galesburg, MI 49053
Bent River Brewing Co.
1413 5th Ave.
Moline, IL 61265
Berkshire Brewing Co., Inc.
P O Box 251
South Deerfield, MA 01373
Beverage Marketing Corporation of NY
850 Third Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10022-6222
Bloomington Brewing Company
P.O. Box 6955
Bloomington, IN 47407
Boston Beer Company
One Design Center, Suite 850
Boston, MA 02130-2312
Boulder Beer Company
2880 Wilderness Place
Boulder, CO 80301
Boulevard Brewing Company
2501 Southwest Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64108-2345
656 County Highway 33
Cooperstown, NY 13326
Briess Malting Company
625 S. Irish Road
Chilton, WI 53014
Broad Ripple Brewing Company
842 E. 65th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Can Manufacturers Institute
1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW, #1000
Washington, DC 20036
7734 Terrace Avenue
Middleton, WI 53562
City Brewing Company
925 South Third Street
LaCrosse, WI 54601
Craft Brew Alliance
929 N. Russell Street
Portland, OR 97227
Commodity Specialists Co.
920 Second Ave. S., Suite 850
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Deschutes Brewery, Inc.
901 SW Simpson Avenue
Bend, OR 97702
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
6 Cannery Village Center
Milton, DE 19968
4350 East Camelback Road
Suite A125, Phoenix, AZ, 85018
Eagle Creek Brewing Company
106 Savannah Ave.
Statesboro, GA 30458
Eel River Brewing Company, Inc.
1777 Alamar Way
Fortuna, CA 95540
Four Peaks Brewing Co.
1340 E. 8th Street, #104
Tempe, AZ 85281
Fredericksburg Brewing Company
245 East Maint Street
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Full Sail Brewing Co.
506 Columbia St.
Hood River, OR 97031
Goose Island Brewing Company
1800 W. Fulton
Chicago, IL 60612
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
430 Old Jackson Hwy
Victor, ID 83455
Green Flash Brewing Co.
6550 Mira Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92121
Gusmer Enterprises, Inc.
1165 Globe Avenue
Mountainside, NJ 07092
306 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
Independent Brewers United Corporation
91 S. Royal Broughan Way
Seattle, WA 98134
Intuition Ale Works
720 King Street
Jacksonville, FL 32204
Ippolito Christon & Co.
2825 Lewis Speedway, Suite 104
St. Augustine, FL 32084
1140 W Bryn Ave.
Itasca, IL 60143
John I. Haas, Inc.
4185 MacArthur Blvd., NW, #300
Washington, DC 20016
Marin Brewing Company
1809 Larkspur Landing Circle
Larkspur, CA 94939-1801
Matt Brewing Company
811 Edward Street
Utica, NY 13502-4092
Mike's Hard Lemonade
159 S. Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98104
686 South Main
Moab, UT 84532
Napa Valley Brewing Co.
1250 Lincoln Avenue
Calistoga, CA 94515-1741
New Belgium Brewing Co., Inc.
500 Linden Street
Fort Collins, CO 80524
New Glarus Brewing Company
Country Road W and Hwy 69
New Glarus, WI 53574
New Holland Brewing Company
66 E. 8th Street
Holland, MI 49423
North American Breweries
50 Fountain Plaza
Key Center North Tower, Suite 900
Buffalo, NY 14202
North Fork Brewers, Inc.
6186 Mt. Baker Hwy.
Deming, WA 98244
Odell Brewing Company, Inc.
800 E. Lincoln Ave.
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Pacific Coast Brewing Co.
906 Washington St.
Oakland, CA 94607-4032
Pelican Pub & Brewery / Pacific City Brewing Co.
P.O. Box 189
Pacific City, OR 97135
8300 West Good Hope Road
Milwaukee, WI 53223
Prescott Brewing Co.
130 W. Gurley Street, Suite A
Prescott, AZ 86301-3602
Product Acceptance and Research
PO Box 3126
Rahr Malting Co.
800 West First Avenue
Shakopee, MN 55379
Rexam Beverage Can Americas
8770 West Bryn Mawr Avenue
Chicago, IL 60631-3524
2320 OSU Drive
Newport, OR 97365
Royal Oak Brewing Company
215 East 4th Street
Royal Oak, MI 48067
S. S. Steiner, Inc.
655 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021-8043
Salt Lake Brewing Company
147 West Broadway
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Seabright Brewery, Inc.
519 Seabright Ave
Santa Cruz, CA 95062-3482
86 Newbury Street
Portland, ME 04101-4219
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
1075 E. 20th Street
Chico, CA 95928-6722
Sleeping Lady Brewing Company
340Denali Street #202
Anchorage, AK 99503
Smuttynose Brewing Company
225 Heritage Ave.
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Spoetzl Brewery, Inc.
P.O. Box 368
Shiner, TX 77984-0368
Sprecher Brewing Co. Inc.
701 W. Glendale Ave.
Glendale, WI 53209-6500
Stone Brewing Co.
1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029
303 Sorg Street
St. Mary's, PA 15857-1537
Summit Brewing Company
910 Montrel Circle
St. Paul, MN 55102
Switchback Brewing Company
160 Flynn Ave.
Burlington, VT 05401
The Gambrinus Company
14800 San Pedro, #310
San Antonio, TX 78232-3733
The Saint Louis Brewery
2100 Locust St.
St. Louis, MO 63103
Wynkoop Brewing Company
1634 18th Street
Denver, CO 80202
2304 Tarpley, Suite 114
Carrollton, TX 75006
See our yearly reviews of how we proactively address industry
issues, including supporting jobs in our communities, responsibly advertising
and marketing beer, and paying more than our fair share in taxes.
See our yearly reviews of how we proactively address industry issues, including supporting jobs in our communities, responsibly advertising and marketing beer, and paying more than our fair share in taxes.
The Beer Institute and the members we represent take
our responsibility to the communities we serve seriously.
For decades, America’s brewers and beer importers have been industry leaders in promoting the responsible consumption of their products. Their efforts include dozens of national and community-based programs designed to promote responsible drinking and discourage underage drinking and drunk driving. Many of these programs are implemented in partnership with local beer distributors, retailers, law enforcement and state and federal government agencies, elected officials, educators, parents and others in the community.
As parents and neighbors ourselves, we recognize that misuse of our products is unacceptable, and are concerned by issues related to their illegal and irresponsible consumption. That’s why the Beer Institute and its members support programs that facilitate parental conversations with children about making smarter, safer choices; promote designated drivers and safe rides home; and provide tools to servers and sellers of alcohol to promote responsible sales and prevent sales to minors.
These kinds of efforts, along with the work of many other public, private and non-profit groups nationwide, have proven to be effective. According to research conducted by the federal government and academic institutions, there have been significant declines in drunk-driving fatalities and underage drinking over the past three decades. In fact, many leading indicators of drunk driving and underage drinking are currently at all-time lows. While these successes are encouraging, more work remains. We will continue our work to enhance the progress already achieved and further reduce these statistics.
To download the Beer Institute brochure "Commitment to Responsibility," please click here .
Advertising & Marketing Code
The Beer Institute and our members believe that beer
should be marketed in a responsible and respectful manner.
We’ve developed an extensive code to help guide our members in advertising their products. Please take a moment to review our guidelines and provide any appropriate feedback.
File an Initial Advertising Complaint
If you wish to send an advertising complaint to a brewer, please send your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your complaint will be forwarded to the appropriate brewer and the brewer will contact you with a response. This is for all complaints that have not been previously submitted to a brewer.
File a Code Compliance Review Board Complaint
The forms for filing a Code Compliance Review Board (CCRB) advertising complaint are listed below. If you have filed an initial complaint and received a response from the brewer and would like to have your complaint reviewed by the third-party Code Compliance Review Board (CCRB), you may complete the form and the third-party review process will be initiated. The CCRB will notify you of its findings.
View CCRB Complaint Decisions below:
June 14, 2006 - Hidden Bud Lights
Michelob Ultra Amber
June 14, 2006 - Touch Football
June 14, 2006 - You Poke It, You Own It
Michelob Ultra Amber
February 14, 2007 - Poison Flowers
April 18, 2007 - But He Has Bud Light
August 27, 2007 - Fist Bump
August 27, 2007 - Rock, Paper, Scissors
March 23, 2009 - Meeting
October 14, 2013 - Voyage
View CCRB Annual Reports:
Programs for Servers of Alcohol
Servers in bars, restaurants and sports
concessions play an important role in ensuring that beer is enjoyed
Brewers partner with law enforcement to provide the annual Driver License Booklet as part of their continuing efforts to help prevent underage access to alcohol beverages. The booklet suggests tips for checking the validity of I.D.s and provides examples of valid license formats for all 50 states plus US Territories, US Department of State, and the Canadian provinces.
This program is part of the multidimensional training program for restaurant managers provided by the National Restaurant Association's Educational Foundation. Its curriculum focuses on preventing alcohol abuse situations, including underage purchases. The course is available through various colleges and universities and state restaurant associations.
Through communication, training, and management techniques, the "Good Sport" program helps stadium operators, team owners, and concessionaires prevent disruptive crowd behavior at stadium events, street festivals, concerts and other special events.
This program is a leading provider of government accredited online certification training courses and employer learning management and reporting systems. Learn2Serve courses are created for hotel, restaurant, bar, convenience store, and grocery employees and managers. Learn2Serve includes interactive and self-paced alcohol seller and server certification.
This program provides a variety of materials to support retail establishments, including a driver's license identification guide with examples from all 50 states, snap-on plastic wristbands, and pocket-sized "We-I.D." cards in an effort to end underage drinking.
Programs for the College Campus
The Beer Institute works with colleges and universities to help prevent underage drinking and alcohol abuse on campuses across the country.
The BACCHUS Network is a university and community based network focusing on comprehensive health and safety initiatives. It is the mission of the 501c3 non-profit organization to actively promote student and young adult based, campus and community-wide leadership on healthy and safe lifestyle decisions concerning alcohol abuse, tobacco use, illegal drug use, unhealthy sexual practices, and other high-risk behaviors. Affiliates are concerned with the health of their students, their institution, and their community.
In their campus marketing efforts, brewers support guidelines developed by the Inter-Association Task Force on Campus Alcohol Issues. These guidelines help ensure that campus beer marketing activities are conducted responsibly along with the approval of appropriate campus officials.
NCAAW is an annual week of education and awareness activities held on more than 3,000 campuses nationwide every October. The U.S. brewing industry has been a charter sponsor of the event since its inception in 1984. In addition to local support from beer wholesalers, the "Know When To Say When" Poster Competition awards $20,000 for responsibility poster concepts.
Joint Projects/Community Outreach
The Beer Institute and our members believe that beer should only be consumed in a responsible manner.
We work with several national organizations to prevent and alcohol abuse in communities across the country.
ABMRF is the largest independent non-profit foundation in North America devoted solely to supporting research on the effects of alcohol with studies ranging from drinking behavior of youth, problems of drinking and road safety, familial influences on the development of drinking practices, and genetic influences on drinking. Over the past 25 years, ABMRF has worked to shift the emphasis in alcohol research from a problem-oriented to a population-based approach.
Beginning in 1943, the brewing industry first developed guidelines regarding alcohol marketing. Beer Institute developed these guidelines as a service to provide brewers with guidance to maintain the highest ethical standards in their advertising and marketing
Begun as a program of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1985, TEAM is a unique alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, stadium service partners, concessionaires, brewers, broadcasters, government safety experts, and others united in an effort to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior. TEAM’s mission is to provide effective alcohol service training in public assembly facilities and promote responsible alcohol consumption that enhances the entertainment experience while reducing alcohol-related incidents both in facilities and on surrounding roadways. TEAM and its members work to accomplish this mission through training and "Responsible Fan" education materials.
WRAP is a nationally acclaimed public/private sector coalition that fights drunk driving and underage drinking in greater Washington, D.C. Formed in 1982, WRAP informs and educates the public through a variety of programs, including the annual Holiday Sober Ride Program, which has been credited with reducing drunk-driving incidents.
Programs for Parents
Parents play perhaps the single most important
role in preventing underage drinking.
The Beer Institute works with several organizations to help give parents the tools they need to prevent underage drinking.
A 3-year, brewer-sponsored partnership with the New York Presbyterian Healthcare System, including White Plains Hospital and the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, will develop a series of topic-related conversation brochures/issue papers about alcohol. Each brochure will include a 'how to' have a conversation with parents/children, family, mentors, guidance counselors/health instructors and among adults.
This program consists of a video and guidebook that encourages open and honest communication between parents and children to help prevent underage drinking. Developed in cooperation with authorities in education, family counseling and alcohol research, the award-winning program provides the free materials to those who call 1-800-359-TALK.
A free discussion guide for parents and consumers explains everything from how to drink responsibly to having a family discussion about alcoholism and alcohol abuse.ParentFurther.com
brewer-sponsored website provides parents with asset-building tools and
information to support them in being the "most valuable players" in
their children's lives. Research shows that the more Developmental Assets™
young people experience, the less likely they are to engage in a wide range of
high-risk behaviors including underage drinking. Search Institute, a
national leader in generating cutting-edge ideas, research and strategies for
growing healthy, thriving children and adolescents, provides all the parenting
content and tools
Responsible Drinking Programs
The Beer Institute and our members have
developed and work with existing organizations to promote responsible drinking.
Brewers offer consumers a national taxi dispatch service and an easy to remember phone number when planning safe or alternative transportation. Radio spots, point-of-sale and packaging materials promote the 1-800-TAXICAB service.
21 Means 21 (broken link)
The national "21 Means 21" advertising campaign was developed to communicate that brewers do not want the business of America's youth. For retailers, the "21 Means 21" message on point-of-sale materials reinforces the importance of checking IDs.
Dedicated to providing a forum for advancing and fostering safe boating education programs, the National Safe Boating Council is the foremost coalition for the advancement of boating safety in the nation.
Preventing Underage Access is a comprehensive program which focuses on numerous avenues to help keep alcohol out of the hands of minors. The program provides educational resources prepared by experts for parents and other concerned adults such as Let's Keep Talking retail signage to remind adults not to give alcohol to minors and to tell them the legal penalties in their states for doing so; and retailer training tools to help stop illegal sales to minors.
Over the past several decades, the American beer
industry has been recognized for its commitment to protecting and improving our
Through conserving energy and water, reusing byproducts and waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and establishing comprehensive recycling programs, the brewing industry has asserted itself as a leading environmental steward.Many brewers have constructed water treatment facilities to reduce the volume of water used in brewing. They have also taken advantage of environmentally sound energy sources such as wind and solar power. Many brewers also capture a biogas that is a byproduct of brewing processes and use it as an energy source for the brewery, reducing fossil fuel usage. Brewers also emphasize environmental awareness through their efforts to promote educational and conservational programs. Please click here to view the Beer Institute’s environmental brochure.
Stay Informed on the Beer Industry
The Beer Institute knows just about anything and everything that affects the beer industry. You can, too, with the information in our Media Center.
The latest policy updates from the Beer Institute.
Click below to see our most recent updates.
What's going on with beer? Find out here.
Click below to see our most recent press releases.
Q&A interviews with key Beer Institute personnel as they discuss the latest
Title: What is Beer Serves America
Description: Beer Serves America is an independent analysis that documents how much beer stimulates the economy, creates jobs and pays taxes. Last year beer contributed more than $246 billion to the economy.
Title: Jobs Involved in the Beer Industry
Description: Every brewery supports dozens of suppliers, from can- and bottle-manufacturers to barley farmers, hops-producers, and many more. In total, more than 2 million people are at work because of beer.
Title: Wages & Benefits from Beer
Description: Wages and benefits from brewers, distributors and retailers totaled more than $31.5 billion in 2012.
Title: Depth of Economic Impact
Description: Brewing is a major industry. The combined economic impact of brewers, distributors, retailers and our supply-chain partners totaled more than $246 billion in 2012.
Title: Why BSA is Important
Description: Brewers are not just producing a product that Americans enjoy, but we’re creating jobs that put middle-class Americans to work. More than 2 million Americans are at work because of beer.
Title: Beer’s Tax Burden
Description: Across all levels, the beer industry contributed more than $49 billion in the form of excise, business and consumption taxes to federal, state and local governments.
Title: Impact of Higher Taxes
Description: If Congress raises taxes on beer, it will be raising taxes on the American middle class. Higher beer taxes would not only increase the burden for middle-class Americans, but could lead to lay-offs for those same middle-class Americans.
Title: Don’t Overtax Beer
Description: 40 percent of what consumers pay for a beer already goes toward taxes of some kind on a national average. That makes taxes the most expensive ingredient in your beer.
Are you a member of the media seeking information or comment from the Beer Institute?
If you a member of the media and need information or assistance from the Beer Institute, please contact:
Vice President, Communications
The Beer Institute works with federal and state lawmakers
to develop legislation that represents the interests of the beer industry and
the country as a whole.
America’s beer industry contributes more than $246 billion to our economy with more than 2,800 brewers and importers, 3,700 distributors and 576,000 retail establishments located across the country.
Beer boosts a wide range of industries, including farming, manufacturing, construction, transportation, service and others in nearly every community in the United States.
Beer is more than a simple pleasure. It’s a $246 billion industry supporting 2 million American jobs. We help put people to work, from farmers to factory hands, bartenders to brewers, in nearly every community in the United States.
The last time federal excise taxes were raised, more than 60,000 Americans lost their jobs as a result. To do so again would be just as devastating, if not more so.
Every time an American enjoys a cold, refreshing beer, 40% of their hard-earned money goes to taxes. The federal government and state governments pile extra taxes on the production and sale of beer, including regressive, invisible federal and state excise taxes.
As an industry, we’re proud to do our part in keeping America great. But the truth is, brewers and beer drinkers are paying more than our fair share of taxes already.
Organized to represent the brewing industry and its suppliers before Congress, regulatory agencies and the public, the Beer Institute is committed to developing sound public policy that focuses on community involvement and personal responsibility.
The Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act of 2013
The Beer Institute supports the Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act of 2013 (BEER Act). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would reduce excise taxes for all brewers and beer importers, and ultimately reduce taxes for all beer drinkers.
Under the BEER Act of 2013:
brewers would pay no federal excise tax on the first 15,000 barrels;
brewers would pay $3.50 on barrels 15,001 to 60,000;
brewers would pay $9 per barrel for every barrel over 60,000 and up to 2
brewers producing more than 2 million barrels annually, and for all beer importers
regardless of size, the federal excise tax rate would be $9 per barrel for
Standard Drink Myth
Beer has a fixed amount of alcohol - the beer brand you order at your favorite bar has the same alcohol in it as the one ordered across town or available for sale at your grocery store. The same is not true for a mixed drink - no two mixed drinks have the same amount of alcohol.
Standard Drink Myth
For more than 200 years, U.S. policymakers have recognized the significant differences between beer and hard liquor, and that laws and regulations governing the two should be different. The false notion that “a drink is a drink” is easily dispelled with a careful look at the facts.
The differences between beer and hard liquor include their alcohol concentration, the way each is produced and consumed, and the level of positive social involvement of each in local communities.
- Beer has a much lower alcohol concentration than hard liquor. Not all alcohol drinks are equal. A standard Scotch on the rocks is equal to 1.5 beers, while a Long Island Iced Tea contains as much alcohol as five beers. Another way to look at this is that a gallon of beer is less than a 12-pack, whereas a gallon of hard liquor is the equivalent of more than 85 beers.
- Not only is the alcohol content of a beer “fixed,” so is the typical package size, giving consumers greater control and more opportunity to drink responsibly. When a consumer buys a 12 oz. bottle or can of beer, that alcohol amount is set. On the other hand, hard liquor is a concentrated product, meaning the alcohol content of drinks can vary depending on how much liquor is mixed and who is mixing it.
– The most common way to consume hard liquor, through mixed drinks, results in the widest variation in alcohol content among alcohol beverages.
– The 1.5 oz. “standard serving” of hard liquor is unrealistic; the average pure alcohol content of many popular drinks is more than 70 percent higher than the mythical ‘standard serving.’ A cursory Internet search of popular liquor websites finds mixed-drink recipes calling for more than 4 oz. of hard liquor in a single serving – three times the so-called “standard serving.”
Given these simple facts, suggestions that a mixed drink such as a 4 oz. martini made of 80-proof hard liquor is “the same” as a glass of beer with 4.6 Alcohol By Volume can be easily dismissed as untrue. There are major differences between beer, wine and hard liquor — both in what they are made of and how they are used — and they deserve separate tax and regulatory treatment.
Beer is the moderate choice. Beer is made of wholesome ingredients, such as barley, hops, yeast and local water. Once you get to know your drink, you will know that beer is the right choice.