Monday, December 1, 2008

Beer Industry Recognizes 75 Years of Post-Prohibition Brewing

On Dec. 5, brewers, beer importers, and industry suppliers will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the national repeal of Prohibition.

The positive economic impact of Prohibition's repeal was felt virtually immediately. More than 50,000 jobs were produced nationwide in brewing and related industries during the height of the Great Depression, and $25 million in economic activity was generated across the country in just the first 48 hours following repeal. Since that time, the beer industry has grown exponentially into an economic force for America's farmers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.

Directly and indirectly, the beer industry employs approximately 1.7 million Americans, paying them almost $55 billion in wages and benefits. The industry pays over $36 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes, including $5.2 billion in excise taxes and $6.2 billion in sales, gross receipts, and other taxes. In addition to this positive economic impact, the repeal of Prohibition also ushered in a new era of responsibility in how alcohol is regulated and consumed.

"The past 75 years powerfully demonstrate that a healthy beer industry strengthens the American economy," said Beer Institute President Jeff Becker. "Looking forward, fair tax policies are essential to ensuring that brewers and beer importers can continue making significant contributions across the nation."

Today, the beer industry is burdened with an excessively high and regressive beer tax that unfairly hurts manufacturing employees and hits lower- and middle-income consumers hardest. Since the federal beer tax doubled in 1991, approximately 60,000 Americans lost their jobs in brewing, distributing, retailing, and related industries.

Rolling back the beer tax increase would provide a much-needed shot in the arm to the nation's struggling economy and help stimulate job growth. Additionally, a healthy and prosperous beer industry provides important revenue that helps fund many local projects such as new schools and roads.

"From coast to coast, our members stand united as we celebrate this important milestone," added Becker. "Together, we have built a strong record of growth and responsible community involvement, and that is something in which we can all take great pride."

Brewers and beer importers spend millions of dollars annually on numerous civic and community programs around the country. These include alcohol abuse prevention efforts, corporate philanthropy, and environmental initiatives. For more information on these programs and the industry's economic contributions, visit

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