Study: Beer a multi-billion dollar asset to North Carolina economy

According to new data, the beer industry in North Carolina has a $3.8 billion impact on the state's economy, and contributes to more than 26,000 jobs.

The news comes from a Beer Serves America study conducted by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

The study breaks down "direct economic impact" jobs into three areas: Brewing, which accounts for 1,347 jobs; distributing, which totals 4,070 jobs; and retail sales at 21,063.

With 130 breweries and counting, the industry also generates more than $2 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue for the Tar Heel state.

On a national level, the U.S. beer industry contributes $252.6 billion in economic output which is equal to about 1.5 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Federal, state and local taxes amounted to more than $48.5 billion in 2014, according to the North Carolina Beer Wine Wholesalers Association.

Brewers and beer importers directly employ 49,576 Americans. More than 70 percent of brewing jobs are linked to large and mid-sized brewers and beer importers. The number of distributor jobs has increased by more than 20 percent in the last decade, to more than 131,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reports.

The largest North Carolina brewery is the MillerCoors plant in Eden which employs 522 people.

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