Beer filling state coffers


POSTED: Friday, April 10, 2009

The beer industry contributes more than $588 million a year to Hawaii's economy, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute.

The study shows that the industry's impact includes 7,251 jobs paying more than $210 million in wages and generating nearly $64 million in federal, state and local taxes.

The beer industry directly employs 4,525 Hawaii residents who are paid slightly more than $119 million in wages. The state's 17 beer distributors employ 626 people while 46 people work for large and small brewers and importers.

A song lyric says, “;in heaven there is no beer, that's why we drink it here.”;

Hence, Hawaii beer sales contribute to the employment of 3,853 residents at licensed retailers including supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, bars, stadiums and other outlets, the study said.

The national study is conducted every two years and results are broken out by state and by Congressional district, said Rebecca Spicer, vice president of public affairs for Virginia-based NBWA.

The study focuses on economic impact and does not reflect sales trends, Spicer said.

Nevertheless, most numbers from the 2006 economic impact study were larger than in the new study, reflecting contraction in keeping with the downturned economy.

The beer industry's impact in the 2006 study showed economic impact of just under $697 million annually, with 8,020 jobs paying $212 million in wages.

The industry directly employed 4,776 Hawaii residents in 2006, who earned $110 million in wages. This year's numbers reflect a more than 9 percent decrease in beer industry or related employment and a nearly 1 percent dip in overall wages, but an increase of $9 million in wages paid to the smaller number of people directly employed by the beer industry. Tax figures from the 2006 study were not available.

Nationally the industry contributes more than $198 billion annually to the U.S. economy, providing nearly 1.9 million jobs that generate nearly $62 billion in wages and benefits, the study said. The industry paid $41 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes in 2008.


Bottoms up in Hawaii

Overall jobs7,2518,020
Direct jobs4,5254,776
Overall wages$210 mln$212 mln
Direct wages$119 mln$110 mln
Taxes$64 mlnUnavailable
Overall impact$588 mln$697 mln

Source: National Beer Wholesales Association and the Beer Institute