This weekend millions of Americans will get together with friends and family to honor the men and women who’ve served our country. They’ll have picnics, fire up barbecues, go to ball games – and many legal drinking age adults will toast their gatherings with a beer.

Summer is the traditional beer selling season. Last year, beer sales between Memorial Day and Labor Day exceeded $11 billion, according to Nielsen. That makes it one of the largest-selling food or beverage items for the summer. It’s no exaggeration to say that beer truly is America’s beverage.

Beer Sales in America

Right now more than 2,800 breweries and importers serve up beer for legal-drinking age consumers. And they have a huge economic impact as well, with ripple effects benefiting agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transportation and may other businesses. Here are a few facts from a 2012 economic study commissioned by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association:

  • The beer industry, directly and indirectly, generates more than $246 billion in economic activity.
  • Brewers directly sustain nearly 44,000 jobs in the US. And they’re high quality jobs as well. Larger brewers lead the way, as brewery workers earn an average of $44 an hour in wages and benefits, up to $100,000 a year when overtime is included.
  • The beer industry, directly and indirectly, employs more than 2 million Americans and pays nearly $79 billion in wages and benefits.
  • It pays more than $49 billion in taxes (in fact, more than 40 percent of what consumers pay for a beer goes to taxes)

The American beer industry is the most dynamic and exciting in the world, with thousands of brands and a wide variety of styles available, and MillerCoors is proud to be part of it.

On behalf of the 8,500 employees of MillerCoors, we wish you a happy Memorial Day – and a great summer.