OKLAHOMA CITY -- Beer Serves America, a biannual beer industry study from the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association, shows the Oklahoma beer industry directly supported 8,256 jobs, provided $270 million in wages and pushed more than $2.9 billion back into the Oklahoma economy in 2020.

The study noted that nationally the beer industry suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions.

"A strong Oklahoma beer industry is vital to the Oklahoma economy," said Lisette Barnes, president of the Oklahoma Beer Alliance. "The beer industry supports thousands of jobs, wages and benefits for Oklahomans in different industries like agriculture, manufacturing, trucking, tourism and more. The more we can work together to build a strong beer industry, the better for the state's economy."

The new study showed Oklahoma brewing jobs increased by 6.58% compared to the 2018 study, and noted that each job in the brewing industry generates 30 additional full-time jobs in wholesaling, retailing, manufacturing and agriculture. This bodes well for the coming year as Oklahoma moves beyond the pandemic.

"Although 2020 was a tough year for many brewers, restaurants and bars, the Beer Serves America study shows how resilient the Oklahoma beer industry really is and how recent policy changes have allowed businesses to be flexible and respond to consumer demand," said Barnes. "Even through shutdowns and capacity restrictions, the industry grew in certain aspects. I believe this will continue as Oklahomans get back to normal."

Nationally, the study found that the beer industry supported 2 million jobs, provided $102.8 billion in wages, and had an economic impact of over $331.8 billion in 2020. The study noted that nationally brewing, distributing and retailing jobs decreased in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. In Oklahoma, the study showed the beer industry supported a total 17,683 jobs, provided $726 million in total wages across all industries, and had an economic impact of $2.9 billion.

The Beer Serves America study echoed findings the Alliance noted in 2020 about consumer purchasing behavior. It showed that consumers shifted away from purchasing more expensive craft beers in bars and restaurants to beer from national brewers that are more readily available at grocery and convenience stores.

"Throughout 2020, our Alliance member distributors saw Oklahomans preferred to do one-stop shopping for their beer and were purchasing larger packs of canned beers from grocery stores due to the ongoing pandemic," said Barnes. "Recent law changes contributed to the resiliency of the industry and stymied dramatic losses by ensuring Oklahomans could purchase their favorite beverages from grocery, convenience and liquor stores, and have new delivery options from restaurants. This helped all businesses ensure they could meet consumer demand during the pandemic."

The Oklahoma Beer Alliance is dedicated to promoting common sense laws that enable Oklahomans to choose the highest quality products without compromise, while encouraging personal responsibility throughout our community that benefits the common good. For more information, please visit okbeeralliance.com.

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