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Beer business booming for Oklahoma

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The 48 taps of beer are shown at The Patriarch, located at 9 E Edwards St. in Edmond.  [CHRIS LANDSBERGER/THE OKLAHOMAN]
The 48 taps of beer are shown at The Patriarch, located at 9 E Edwards St. in Edmond. [CHRIS LANDSBERGER/THE OKLAHOMAN]

As Oklahomans open a can or bottle of their favorite cold one this Memorial Day, a new economic impact survey shows just how much support the industry provides.

The survey shows the industry directly supported 8,650 jobs, paid more than $282 million in wages and had a total direct economic output of more than $1 billion in Oklahoma during 2018.

Cheers to that.

Expanding the parameters to include indirect economic impact, the survey estimates the industry supports nearly 19,000 jobs, more than $800 million in wages and a total economic output of nearly $2.9 billion in Oklahoma alone.

Cheers for the whole state.

“Beer is more than America’s most popular alcohol beverage,” Beer Institute President and CEO Jim McGreevy said. “Brewers, beer importers and beer industry suppliers are creating jobs, providing wages and benefits to working Americans and supporting the economy in every state and every congressional district.”

The survey is titled “Beer Serves America” and was commissioned by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute. It was conducted by the New York firm John Dunham & Associates and examined various measures of economic impact the beer industry has nationwide, as well as on a statewide level during 2018.

Consumers will remember the drastic changes made to the manner in which beer was sold in Oklahoma beginning in October. Restrictions on alcohol by weight for certain products were lifted, and strong beer was allowed to be sold in grocery stores and convenience stores, while liquor stores gained the ability to refrigerate their beer.

However, this survey focuses on the economic impact of the industry on the overall economy within Oklahoma as well as the United States.

Nationally, the industry is believed to employ more than 140,000 in jobs that pay a collective $9.5 billion in wages, and when combined with indirect economic impact it generates more than $328 billion in economic output, the survey found.

The survey separated three tiers of the beer production system for additional analysis.

Brewing

The first category is for those involved in the brewing process, or the production of beer. This could be any business from large, like Anheuser-Busch or MillerCoors, down to small micro breweries or brew pubs that might not sell any products outside its location.

In Oklahoma, the brewing tier employed 836 in 2018 with wages exceeding $23 million.

New breweries continue to open and expand across the state, but nationally, the volume of beer sales is down about 2.4% since 2016, according to the survey.

Despite less consumption jobs have increased by 8%. Surveyors believe this to be representative of growth in micro and brewpub employment, as well as growth in higher margin products from all brewers.

Wholesale and distribution

The next tier is the distribution or wholesale tier, which is responsible for the delivery of all products to the third tier, the retailers.

Oklahoma’s distribution tier employed nearly 1,720 with wages worth nearly $96 million, collectively.

This tier also experienced significant change beginning in October when a fourth tier, brokers, were essentially eliminated with the ability to merge with wholesale distributors in the state.

Nationally, the distribution tier has seen growth of nearly 20% in the last decade, a statistic the survey attributes to the development of new malt beverage products, growth in imports and more regional and national distribution by smaller producers.

Retail

Retail employs the most of any of the three categories. In Oklahoma, there were 6,094 jobs with wages worth nearly $162 million.

Breaking it down further, retail is divided into two categories. There are on-premise sales, such as a restaurant or bar where the product is consumed, or off-premise sales, like a grocery store or liquor store where beer is purchased and consumed elsewhere. Nearly three quarters of the jobs in this tier are at on-premise retail locations.

A continued shift away from less expensive products to more expensive local and craft beers, as well as imports, was noted in the survey. Consumers are purchasing smaller volumes of higher-priced items.

The survey also examined taxes paid by the industry. Nationally, nearly $58.6 billion in tax revenues are generated by the production and sale of beer and other malt beverages, the survey said, equal to nearly 40% of the retail price paid by consumers.

Tax collections since October have gone up slightly, but consistent with normal growth in the industry.

So enjoy that beer this weekend, Oklahoma. It's economical.

Related Photos
<strong>The door to enter the Beer Cave is shown at the OnCue located at the northwest corner of the 15th & I-35 intersection in Edmond.   [JIM BECKEL/THE OKLAHOMAN]</strong>

The door to enter the Beer Cave is shown at the OnCue located at the northwest corner of the 15th & I-35 intersection in Edmond. [JIM BECKEL/THE OKLAHOMAN]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-cdd61243aa7cff7b28d7270ac669ea88.jpg" alt="Photo - The door to enter the Beer Cave is shown at the OnCue located at the northwest corner of the 15th &amp; I-35 intersection in Edmond. [JIM BECKEL/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" The door to enter the Beer Cave is shown at the OnCue located at the northwest corner of the 15th &amp; I-35 intersection in Edmond. [JIM BECKEL/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> The door to enter the Beer Cave is shown at the OnCue located at the northwest corner of the 15th &amp; I-35 intersection in Edmond. [JIM BECKEL/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-eef7ad461ce192f3ecb2662f33ab28c4.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-28ada33c8c6790050f8664c64623daf9.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c45d71fa853d16972d5332b63369e9f9.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2e7605730513490de179febf68043d34.jpg" alt="Photo - The 48 taps of beer are shown at The Patriarch, located at 9 E Edwards St. in Edmond. [CHRIS LANDSBERGER/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" The 48 taps of beer are shown at The Patriarch, located at 9 E Edwards St. in Edmond. [CHRIS LANDSBERGER/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> The 48 taps of beer are shown at The Patriarch, located at 9 E Edwards St. in Edmond. [CHRIS LANDSBERGER/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure>
David Dishman

Business Writer David Dishman has worked as a journalist in Oklahoma since 2014 covering business, education, local government, healthcare and more. He worked as a reporter in southeast Oklahoma before joining the business team at The Oklahoman in... Read more ›

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