From casual social outings to celebratory events, alcohol is frequently part of our lives. While the culinary and cultural value of these drinks is commonly emphasized, the economic impact is often forgotten. Alcohol plays an enormous role in our economy. In the U.S. alone, the alcohol beverage industry is responsible for sustaining more than 4 million jobs and generating almost $70 billion in annual tax revenue. And that doesn’t scratch the surface of the economic benefits the alcohol industry provides to late night restaurants and pizza shops.
Make no mistake, these numbers are significant. The taxes derived from your happy-hour cocktail, fine wine, or tailgate beer generates a surplus of revenue for federal, state, and local governments. From there, the money can be applied toward various social service programs and public organizations that improve your quality of life. For example, tax revenue from alcoholic beverages could be applied toward research and development for science and medical issues, like those studied at the National Institute of Health (which has an annual budget of $32 billion).
It takes nearly 4.4 million people collectively to satiate America’s collective thirst. That’s more jobs than active U.S. military service members (1.3 million), or the total number of firefighters, police officers, physicians, and lawyers combined (2.5 million) in the U.S. Per the Beer Institute, the beer industry alone supports 1.75 million jobs. From the farmers harvesting the barley in your beer, to the beer truck driver, to your local bartender, every aspect of your drink exists because of someone in the alcohol industry working hard behind the scenes.
The positive economic impact of alcohol is something you seldom consider when having a drink, but, given the facts, maybe it’s time we all raise a glass to it.