This week the Beer Institute, a national trade organization representing the beer industry, launched StandWithBeer.org — an educational platform that both showcases the economic and social impact of the $409 billion American brewing industry and calls out the liquor industry for exploiting loopholes in our tax code. What a great one-two!
An example of the former, the site has some cool stats on beer — like how the beer industry pays more than $132 billion in wages and $63.8 billion in taxes and nearly 2.4 million American jobs rely on the beer industry, including 92,159 brewer and beer importer jobs, 77,847 manufacturing jobs, 137,420 distribution jobs, 52,220 agricultural jobs and 979,805 retail jobs. That’s very specific.
The new website also covers some political ground. As an example, the Beer Institute is looking to bring attention to the rum cover-over program. This U.S. government program refunds the tax revenue from rum produced in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and that money is supposed to be reinvested in those U.S. territories, promoting economic development and guaranteeing well-paid jobs, but it’s turned into a “handout to large liquor companies,” according to the Beer Institute video above, which has that crime-stoppers vibe to it. As some backgrounder, here’s an exact rundown of the program for Puerto Rico via the U.S. government. From the Beer Institute press release:
“Beer has always been an iconic part of American culture, and StandWithBeer.org is an unparalleled tool to teach consumers about the vibrant $409 billion beer industry while holding the liquor industry accountable,” said Brian Crawford, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. “Our mission is to provide a comprehensive resource for consumers, the press and elected officials to learn about how beer is unique and provides more options and transparency to consumers than other forms of alcohol. StandWithBeer.org also exposes the tactics liquor companies use to exploit tax loopholes that allow them to lower their effective tax rate to the detriment of American consumers and taxpayers. StandWithBeer.org will empower consumers to make more informed choices and have their voices heard. We invite all beer enthusiasts who make beer America’s favorite alcohol beverage to visit this platform and stand up for beer.”
The new website is also looking to tease brewers into sharing nutrition facts. The Beer Institute notes it has long championed consumer transparency and launched the Brewer’s Voluntary Disclosure Initiative in 2016. In the release, it notes more than 95 percent of the beer volume sold by Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors Beverage, Constellation Brands Beer Division, Heineken USA and Fifco USA now voluntarily provides nutritional information, according to the results of an independent survey by John Dunham and Associates.
Wanna learn more? You can visit StandWithBeer.org here or not. Choose wisely.