A new report on the beer industry ahead of the summer drinking season, plus the resurrection of an ancient Egyptian brew
Last week, the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association released their Beer Serves America economic report on the nation’s beer industry.
The timing is intended to mark Memorial Day as one of the top beer-selling holidays of the year and the beginning of the summer beer-selling season.
According to the study, the U.S. beer industry supports more than 2.1 million local jobs in a wide range of industries, including farming, manufacturing, construction, and transportation in every community across the country.
“For every job in a brewery, another 31 jobs are created in other industries.”
The Beer Institute says America’s beer industry contributes more than $328 billion to the economy with 7,000 active breweries and over 3,000 distributors. Brewers and beer distributors employ more than 200,000 people.
The report indicates that the industry has seen the loss of over 40,000 jobs, and the industry is blaming President Donald Trump’s tariffs.
“Aluminum tariffs are increasing brewers’ costs and are an anchor on a vibrant industry,” Beer Institute President Jim McGreevy told The Hill in a statement. “Each brewer is deciding for themselves how to absorb that expense, whether it’s raising prices, laying off workers or delaying innovation and expansion, all of which hurt a vibrant job-creating industry.”
After the administration slapped a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports in March 2018, the cost of getting the metal to the Midwest more than doubled, according to Bloomberg News, which first reported on industry insiders blaming President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs for the loss in jobs.
However, other factors may be at work.
Total cases of beer, wine and spirits consumed in the U.S. dropped 0.8% in 2018, the third consecutive year of declined, according to a report from IWSR, which studies the beverage market. The main culprit is the beer slump, with consumption down 1.5% as more drinkers gravitated to spirits and wine.
Breweries interested in featuring a specialty drink may be interested in the research of an Israeli team, which managed to resurrect the beer of the ancient Egyptians.
Israeli scientists say they have recreated the taste of ancient beers that the Philistines and Egyptians drank as much as 5,000 years ago.
The research began with shards of pottery used to produce beer and mead in antiquity, which still had yeast specimens stuck inside. The scientists examined the yeast colonies that settled in the pottery’s nano-pores, and were ultimately able to resurrect the yeast to create beer.
“The greatest wonder here is that the yeast colonies survived within the vessel for thousands of years, just waiting to be excavated and grown,” said Ronen Hazan, a microbiologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “This ancient yeast allowed us to create beer that lets us know what ancient Philistine and Egyptian beer tasted like. By the way, the beer isn’t bad.”
There is ample evidence that the ancient Egyptians loved their beer. One prominent temple featured a “Porch of Drunkenness” . . . which would be the name of my bar, should I ever decide to open one.DONATE
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