What Is the Link Between Beer and the American Economy?
Beer does play quite a significant role within the American economy when looking at the broader picture of alcohol sales. On average in the country, over $110 billion dollars of beer are sold each year, and this is a combination of the big market beer producers and the craft breweries. Craft beer sales do account for over 20% of the market, and much of this has to do with craft breweries and tap room's opening up throughout the United States. In 2017, the small and independent craft breweries within the United States contributed over $76 billion dollars to the countries economy. States such as California, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, and Florida, are in the top five for overall economic impact with making and selling beer. More and more college campuses throughout the United States are offering brew-master courses teaching people how to brew beer, and it is becoming a sought-after career among beer enthusiasts. Despite the positive economic impact of job creation, sales, and tourism, excessive drinking is draining the U.S. economy.
Billions of dollars are spent each year within the United States because of excessive drinking, especially because of binge drinking. The contributing factors to these total costs include lost productivity, early mortality, healthcare costs, crime, car crashes, and other costs. For example, in 2010, the U.S. economy spent almost one-quarter of trillion dollars because of excessive drinking. In some years, lost productivity has reached over $80 plus billion dollars; $100 billion of the total costs include Medicare and Medicaid payments and the criminal justice system. The remainder of the costs falls upon the private citizen and entities such as the individual or the employer. When the Center for Disease Control was putting together information about the economic cost of alcohol abuse, they looked at what one single drink would cost a state. For example, a standard glass of beer could cost a state between $0.92 and $2.77 on average. American drinking habits, such as with beer, do drag the economy down financially. The costs associated with excessive drinking far exceed the revenue that is brought in from alcohol taxes, which can be roughly around $16 billion each year. Excessive binge drinking and alcohol cost more than just money; it will cost the livelihood of individuals who become addicted to it or dependent on alcohol such as beer.