New study shows beer generates more than good times and hangovers, like jobs and taxes



We're currently working on our upcoming Beer Issue — hitting the streets August 20 — so the Inlander staff has beer on the brain a bit more than usual. Walk past some of our cubicles, and you might recognize the signs of a thirsty writer or editor

After a little bit of reporting, it turns out beer is not only a delicious treat, it's a pretty significant part of the economy. Sounds like a great reason to raise a toast — cheers!

The folks at something called the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association today released a new study called "Beer Serves America: A Study of the U.S. Beer Industry's Economic Contribution," and in the report (put together by John Dunham and Associates), they break down things like how beer contributes to jobs and taxes both nationally and in each of the states. You can read the report if you want to get into the minutiae, but we thought there were a few noteworthy stats Inlander readers might be interested in: 
  • Overall, the beer industry generates about $252.6 billion in economic activity, which equates to about 1.5 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. 
  • Based on data from 2014, beer is responsible for the existence of about 1.75 million jobs, ranging from the people working at the breweries themselves to all the suppliers affiliated with the industry — bottle and can manufacturers, cardboard companies, marketing enterprises and the like. 
  • The total number of breweries has grown by 2,290 in the past two years, most of them microbreweries and brewpubs. Residents of the Inland Northwest can certainly attest to that trend as our ale trail is growing like crazy. 
  • Nearly $50 billion in taxes is generated by the production of beer and other malt beverages (those hard lemonades, etc.), and those taxes make up about 40 percent of the price we pay for a beer. 
  • In Washington state, the beer industry generates nearly $3 billion in economic activity, and roughly 38 percent of the retail price of beers goes toward federal and state taxes.
  • In Idaho, the beer biz generates about $460 million in economic activity, and roughly 37 percent of the price of each beer goes toward taxes. 
You can check out the data of any state you like with this handy website. And watch for that Beer Issue coming August 20.