The Business Climate of Beer

Beer brewing supports commercial and employment bases, as well as industrial and farming concerns. If one wants beer one must support urban redevelopment and density – where people will gather to drink it – and farmland preservation – where people can grow the barley and hops.

Misfortune can bring fortune; Schlitz is the beer that made Milwaukee famous, quenching the thirsts of Chicagoans after the Great Fire destroyed most of ChiTown’s breweries.

Beer drinkers are hiring. Milwaukee’s breweries comprised a large percentage of the city’s and region’s employment base as well as helping in other ways. Some studies show that the brewing industry contributed to more than 40% of national tax revenues in the late 19th and early 20thcenturies.

The economic climate has not been good for retail sales in general. However, craft beer has held its own, even doing well in tough times. Many committed beer drinkers recognize that strong local beer gets one more bang for the buck; the higher alcohol content drives people from ‘lite’ beers.

Climate change will have an effect on beer production; it will do so with all crop-based industries. It is possible U.S. breweries will need to import all of our nation’s barley from Canada and Russia in the coming days. Possibly worse than our dependence on foreign oil, our national beer production may be based on international relations.

Beer Brewing Fun Facts:

Ø Sq. ft. of barley crop required per pint of beer – 22.68 (a four pint session requires 9′ x 10′)

Ø Water required to brew one pint – 48 oz (quart and a half)

Ø Barrels produced per brewpub employee – ~33.333 barrels per staffer per year, or ~4,000 pints annually

Ø Brewing increases commercial and industrial tax bases

Ø Beer generates money for state and local government services – think fire and police protection as well as schools — through sales, use and liquor taxes

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