According to the Beer Institute, not only does the American beer market directly and indirectly employ around 2,000,000 people, but one job in a brewery or wholesaler supports 45 jobs outside of it -- and not just because the people in those jobs go to the bar after work.—Thrillist, 27 August 2014.
The recent study -- which took into account years of economic data and required drinking/looking at lots of beer -- also concluded that the brewing industry generates around $246 billion for the US economy and earns $79 billion for the folks working within it, and proposed a sort of "Beer Ripple Effect", where a single brewery job can create positions in agriculture, distribution, retail, and lots of other industries.
The beery contributions of the state of California lead the nation: 241,640 jobs, $11.1 billion in wages, and $34.2 billion in total economic input.
Virginia is 15th, where beer produces 51,830 jobs, $2.2 billion in wages, and $7.3 billion in economic contribution. Maryland is at the 21st position, with 34,670 jobs, $1.2 billion in wages, and $3.1 billion in economic contribution. The city of Washington, D.C. is 48th — 3,590 jobs, $106 million in wages, and $296.9 million in total economic contribution —but it beats out three actual states, with Wyoming finishing last. 1
Beer might be a commodity, but labor is not. It's a right, enshrined by international law 2. And, it's the fruit of a brewer's labor at a brewery that is a gift to all of us. So, thank you, brewers and brewery workers, and beer distributors and drivers, and beer store employees and publicans. Thank you all for your labors.
Today, Labor Day 3, may be a federal holiday, but chances are that those brewers don't have the day off. Yeast never sleeps.