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Bottoms up! Study finds Florida beer industry taps in $14 billion to state economy

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Florida is a thirsty state, and one of its favorite beverages is beer.

For the Sunshine State, a fast-growing beer industry has developed into a strong economic engine, one that pumps billions into the state’s economy, with more than 125,000 jobs, says a new report unveiled Tuesday.

Brewers, importers, distributors, suppliers and retailers contribute more than $14 billion annually to Florida’s economy, supporting 125,402 local jobs, according to “Beer Serves America” – an in-depth study of the U.S. beer industry.

The report, jointly compiled by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and The Beer Institute, shows that the industry is responsible for more than $5 billion in wages and benefits, as well as $3 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes in 2014.

“It can be said that beer truly serves America,” said Beer Institute CEO Jim McGreevy. “Beer is more than our nation’s favorite adult drink – it is a powerhouse in job creation, commercial activity, and tax revenue.”

Nationwide, the report found that the beer industry generates nearly $253 billion in overall economic activity, with $48.5 billion in tax revenue and 1.75 million jobs.

Brewers and beer importers directly provide 49,576 American jobs. More than 70 percent of brewing jobs are at large and mid-sized brewers and beer importers. In the last decade, the number of distributor jobs has increased by more than 20 percent – to a total of 131,307.

NBWA CEO Craig Purser praised America’s independent licensed beer distributors, which provide more than 130,000 “solid wage” direct jobs at more than 3,300 facilities. Many of the jobs — located in every state of the country — offer benefits to employees.

Independent beer distributors also provide a significant economic boost to communities through a range of advantages to local commerce, investments in infrastructure, capital assets and tax revenue.

“They provide services that improve efficiency for trading partners, especially small brewers, and retailers, and they ensure fair prices and a broad selection of products for consumers to enjoy,” Purser added.

Compiled by independent economics firm John Dunham & Associates, Beer Serves America is the most comprehensive analysis of the industry. The results came by way of data from private companies, Dun & Bradstreet, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

NBWA is the leading voice of America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributors operating in every state and major market nationwide. Information on NBWA is at, @NBWABeer on Twitter,, and

First founded in 1862 as the U.S. Brewers Association, The Beer Institute is the leading trade association for the American brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, importers and suppliers. More information on the Institute is at, on Twitter at @BeerInstitute and on Facebook.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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