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Brewers, Importers Host Public Policy Forum on Jobs


September 27, 2012

Contact: Chris Thorne (202) 737-2337


Industry Insights Panel: Beer Creates Jobs for Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives of companies that produce hops, cans and bottle caps spoke at a Congressional forum today, sponsored by beer brewers and importers, on how the U.S. beer industry supports more than 1.8 million American jobs in industries as diverse as farming and manufacturing.

“As Congress approaches this debate over fiscal reform, it’s important that they see brewing and importing for what is. Beer is an industry that supports and creates jobs in nearly every community, from brewers to bartenders, from farmers to factory hands,” said Joe McClain, President of the Beer Institute, the trade association that represents beer brewers and importers.

The forum, “A Jobs Success Story: The Economic Impact of Brewing and Importing in America,” included remarks by McClain as well as insight from Alex Barth, President of John I. Haas Co., which provides hops to brewers, and Neill Mitchell, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Development at Crown Cork and Seal, which sells both bottle caps and cans to beer brewers.

“Beer is the major market for our company. We are hopeful that as lawmakers address the nation’s fiscal crisis, they keep in mind that when they consider an industry like the brewing industry, they consider the many companies behind and in support of the American brewer. If taxes go up on beer, there will be less beer sold, and less beer means less need for our company’s hops, which means fewer farm contracts and fewer employment opportunities for all those people that put the great hop flavor into American beers,” Barth said.

“U.S. companies that manufacture metal cans are an important part of the national economy. Can manufacturers along with the companies that provide supplies and materials for the cans provide well-paying jobs throughout the U.S. and pay significant amounts in tax to the Federal Government. We are committed to supporting our customers in the beer industry in their efforts and promoting the sustainability of metal packaging,” Mitchell said.

An economic analysis shows that brewing and importing accounted for $223.8 billion in the economic output of the United States – with employees earning nearly $71.2 billion wages and benefits, and generating more than $44 billion taxes. In 2010, the last year tax statistics were available, 45 percent of what every beer drinker paid for a beer went to taxes of some kind. “That makes taxes the most expensive ingredient in your beer,” McClain said.

Prior to the Congressional forum, the Beer Institute released a national poll of 1,000 likely voters, which found strong opposition to increasing taxes on beer. Nine out of 10 voters in the poll agreed that “raising taxes on beer will mean working class consumers will have to pay more.”

The poll also found that self-identified “beer drinkers” are a larger proportion of the electorate than self-identified supporters of either the Tea Party of Occupy Wall Street movement, and were evenly split between Republican and Democratic parties.

Beer drinkers are also more political than the average likely voter:

· 68 percent of regular beer drinkers say they discuss what’s going on in the presidential campaign with friends or co-workers;

· 66 percent of regular beer drinkers say they are going to be watching the presidential debates, meaning they are more likely to watch presidential debates than watch the World Series or an NFL game;

· 25 percent say they will likely donate or contribute money to a political party, cause, or candidate running for public office; and

· 14 percent (or one out of seven) beer drinkers say they will likely volunteer for a political party, cause, or on the campaign for a candidate running this year.


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: