By: Stephen Jackson
“He is a wise man who invented beer.” –Plato
Some may have different views on beer, good or bad, it’s a national and international phenomenon. While I do not think many would argue with me about this truth, I want to prove it to you by backing it up with numbers – after all, we are numbers people here! Let me take you through some statistics available here at Census, showing both National Economic Census data available on American Fact Finder and International Trade data available on USA Trade Online.
First, let’s take a look at the Economic Census for 2007 and 2012 to view the growth in establishments making beer. Under the NAICS code of 312120 – “Breweries” is identified as “industry that comprises establishments primarily engaged in brewing beer, ale, malt liquors and nonalcoholic beer”. The published number of establishments for 2007 was 398. These 398 establishments reported a total value of sales, shipments, receipts, revenues, or business done as being worth $21.2 billion . Not too bad, huh?! You’re right, that is pretty good for 2007, but in just 5 short years these numbers jumped to show the increased interest in beer. In 2012 the breweries showed total establishments at 869, and annual sales, shipments, receipts, revenues, or business done at $28.3 billion.
Okay, so that is what we are brewing here at home, but what’s going on elsewhere in the world? Let’s look at some international trade data on beer as defined by Harmonized System (HS) code 220300 “beer made from malt” (without additives) spanning 2007-2012. First on the export side of the data, the thirst for our beer grew internationally, raising the value from $251.4 million being exported in 2007, to $448.4 million in 2012. Canada and Mexico were the largest consumers of our beer exports claiming the top spots in all five years. Imports did see an increase over the same period, but not as significant as the export side. In 2007 imports of beer were $3.6 billion (we like to drink more beer than we like to ship out), with this number increasing to $3.7 billion in 2012.