Monday’s Labor Day ad is another one from the United Brewers Industrial Foundation, again from 1939. This was well before the “Beer Belongs” series, and just before World War II. An unseen figure, the disembodied personification of the beer industry, holds a beer tray in his hand with “Employment” emblazoned on the side. On the tray are brewers, bartenders, executives, farmers, and a host of related occupations. I wonder how they come up with that figure. The Beer Institute puts today’s beer-related job count at only slightly more than twice that number: 2,015,120. And at that time there were less than 1,000 breweries who’d reopened after prohibition ended, and most were fairly large by today’s standards. And while there are probably fewer bars today, retail has most likely grown. But regardless of the actual number, then as now, there’s a lot of labor in the beer business.
Happy Labor Day everybody. I thought this was a good day to highlight a press release from the Beer Institute about “how one job inside a brewery supports another 45 jobs outside. From farmers to factory workers, and truck drivers to tavern owners, beer puts people to work.” It’s not just that breweries employ a lot of people — they do — but many more job are created beyond the brewery that might not exist were it not for the beer. As their research shows, for every job inside a brewery, there are 45 related jobs outside the brewery.
From the press release:
“Today we toast to the industry’s 2 million men and women who make it possible for Americans to enjoy their favorite beer,” said Jim McGreevy, Beer Institute President and CEO. “America’s preference for beer is a huge boon to the national economy and the American worker.”
According to an economic study jointly commissioned by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association in 2012, U.S. brewers and beer importers are the foundation for an industry that employs more than 2 million Americans, directly and indirectly. Beer also contributed $246.6 billion to America’s economy and generated $49 billion in local, state and federal taxes.
A Beer Institute analysis showed that each job in a brewery supports other jobs in the agriculture, business and personal services, construction, finance insurance and real estate, manufacturing, retail, transportation and communication, travel and entertainment and wholesale sectors.
They also broke down the number of jobs flowing from beer for each state. Not surprisingly, California was number one, with 241,640 contributing over $34 billion into the economy. After California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois have the most beer-related jobs, but even in the smallest states, thousands of people are gainfully employed thanks to beer. The total number of jobs nationwide is just over 2 million with a total economic impact of almost $247 billion. To see it broken down even farther, including by state and Congressional district, check out Beer Serves America.
Happy Labor Day, the only this missing from this picture? Where are the brewers?
Sunday’s ad is still another one from the United Brewers Industrial Foundation, also from 1939. This was well before the “Beer Belongs” series, and just before World War II. In some ways, this is a strange one, asking consumers to care if the brewers’ beer they’re buying is a member of the UBIF. For only the geekiest of beer geeks is that a serious concern. I especially love the sign hanging on the wall behind him. “This Place Observes the Law.” You don’t see signs like that in bars and retailers anymore, sad to say.
For a number of years, the winding down of summer brings one of my favorite traditions: hop harvest. Brian Hunt, from nearby Moonlight Brewing — the best brewer you’ve probably never heard of unless you’re from the Bay Area — has a quarter-acre of hops planted on his brewery property, known as “The Abbey de St. Humulus,” which he uses each year to make his Fresh Hop Ale, Homegrown. As we do every year we’re able, the whole family, mother-in-law included, made our way to hop harvest, which Brian does 19th century-style. Which means that entire families get together for the day, and spend hours cutting down the bines, and hand-picking the hops and filling up buckets, which will be dumped into the beer without being kilned the same day, all the while eating, drinking and socializing. In a few weeks, Homegrown will be on draft at select bars around the Bay Area, along with plenty of other fresh hop beers as beerjolais nouveau season gets underway. Below is a little photo essay of our day picking hops.
A shady spot is made under multiple pop-up canopies with a tarp floor, where the hop bines are laid out for picking, then everybody sits around and carefully pulls off the hop flowers, discarding the leaves, stems, bines and other material so only the hops that flavor the beer are separated into buckets.
A very fun day picking hops in the warm California sunshine. While it was great fun, we’re all exhausted and a little sore, with scratches all over our bodies. Thank goodness, tomorrow is Labor Day, and we can relax without doing much labor, apart from enjoying a few beers.
In a few weeks time, keep an eye out for Moonlight Brewing’s Homegrown Fresh Hop Ale, along with many other fresh hop, or wet hop, beers. They’re only around for a very short time, and once they;re gone, that’s it until next year. These are beers with intense hop aromas and flavors, and the fresher they are, better they taste.
Saturday’s ad is yet another one from the United Brewers Industrial Foundation, also from 1939. This was well before the “Beer Belongs” series, and just before World War II. This one ran in Life magazine, and is an extension of their earlier ads about how much taxes are paid by the brewing industry, over $1 million each day in 1939. And I love their reminder to the American people, with prohibition still fresh in everyone’s mind. “Yes, it’s a Fact: if beer didn’t pay a million dollars a day in taxes, the American taxpayer would have to find an extra million dollars a day to meet the costs of government!” And how about the look on the face of the man representing a typical American taxpayer, with his comically large glasses.
Friday’s ad is yet another one from the United Brewers Industrial Foundation, again from 1939. This was well before the “Beer Belongs” series, and just before World War II. This one talks about the fact that in the six years since prohibition, brewers used over 15 billion pounds of barley, corn, rice and hops planted on 3 million acres, roughly the same size as New England!
Today is the birthday of Jim Woods, founder of MateVeza, an organic brewer headquartered in San Francisco. I first met Jim when we were classmates at U.C. Davis for the brewing short course before he launched his unique business. All Jim’s beers are made with Yerba Mate, a South American herb that’s similar to tea. Technically, it’s part of the holly family, but contains caffeine and the leaves are used like tea. It works surprisingly well as a spice in beer. Last year, Jim opened the Cervecería de MateVeza, a small brewpub in San Francisco, right next to a corner of Dolores Park. Jim also puts on the Beerunch one morning (usually a Sunday) during SF Beer Week, the last few years at the Public House at the Giants’ stadium. Join me in wishing Jim a very happy birthday.
Jim at his Beerunch during SF Beer Week in 2010.
Navigating the maze of state liquor laws is a challenge for anybody, but especially any bar, restaurant or brewery trying to do business in many, if not every, one of the states. A Chicago law firm, the Hays Firm LLC, with a practice area in Restaurant and Bar Services, created an interesting infographic detailing many of the quirky differences of U.S. Liquor License Laws & Facts, particularly their laws on licensing, BYOB and corkage, introduced with the following:
When you wind down at the end of the day or meet up for a social night with friends for a drink, have you thought about how and why you have access to alcohol? Maybe you ordered a beverage at a bar or restaurant, or maybe you picked up a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer before watching a Sunday football game at home.
But, how’d you really get the drink in your hand? There are U.S. regulations that provide or limit public or business access to alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol sales and serving in restaurants, bars, liquor stores, grocery stores, and even patios and events are subject to local or state laws, or consumers or sellers risk losing permission to interact with it, which could result in legal penalties, and even decreased revenues that keep businesses thriving. Many restaurants aim to have alcohol sales account for 30% of their revenue, so not adhering to liquor license and Bring-Your-Own-Beverage (BYOB) laws, could drive customers away and negatively impact profitability.
Thursday’s ad is yet another one from the United Brewers Industrial Foundation, also from 1939. This was well before the “Beer Belongs” series, and just before World War II. This one ran in Life magazine, using a precursor to the “America’s Beverage of Moderation” tagline with “Beer … a Beverage of Moderation.” This one’s about job creation, with a list of over a dozen occupations brought back by prohibition’s repeal. Showing a child meeting his father walking home from work, I love this bit of ad copy: “Happy man, happy boy, happy home.” Works for me.
Today is also the birthday of living legend Mike “Tasty” McDole, homebrewer extraordinaire, and one time co-host of “The Jamil Show,” or “Can You Brew It?” and a regular still on the “Sunday Show” on The Brewing Network. Tasty would never refer to himself that way, and on Twitter he claims to be simply a “homebrewer and a craft beer enthusiast.” But most of us who know him would, as he also admits, “make [him] out to be much more.” And that is correct, I believe, as Tasty is one of the best. He’s a former Longshot winner, has given talks at the National Homebrew Convention and has won countless awards and has collaborated with numerous commercial breweries on beers. Join me in wishing Tasty a very happy birthday.