Thursday, August 31, 2006

Speaking of beer...

I read this item in today's Salem Statesman Journal. If you don't want to follow the link, it is a brief that was on the Business section about how much money the beer industry contributes to the Oregon economy.

The source is a study done for the National Beer Wholesalers Association and Beer Institute, which reports that beer supports more than 26,000 jobs in the state. It also says that beer generates $732 million in annual wages and benefits for workers and contributes more than $2.2 billion for the state economy.

The full report is available from If you dig a little deeper into the report, the study indicates the direct "supplier impact" on agriculture is 661 jobs, with $7.1 million in wages and an economic contribution of $33 million. The "induced impact" on ag is listed as 272 jobs, $4.4 million in wages and an economic contribution of $15.7 million.

The value of Oregon's hop crop alone in 2005 was $20.7 million, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. NASS reports that 5,153 acres of hops were harvested, producing 8 million pounds.

According to the study done for the bear folks, the overall economic impact in Washington state is smaller, only $1.2 billion, but the impact on agriculture is greater. The report lists a supplier impact on ag of 896 jobs, $11.2 million in wages and $46.3 million in economic contributions. The induced impact on agriculture in Washington is 91 jobs with $7.1 million in wages and $26 million in economic contributions.

However, Washington's hop crop was valued at $73.8 million in 2005, according to NASS. Nearly 39.5 million pounds of hops where harvested in Washington, from 21,094 acres.

Idaho reportedly receives a supplier impact on agriculture of 210 jobs, a little less than $3.7 million in wages and almost $12.8 million in economic contributions. Induced impact on ag is listed as 79 jobs, about $1.9 million in wages and $6.23 million in economic contribution.

Washington state's Yakima Valley grows about 75 of all hops grown in the United States, according to an alternative field crops manual from the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension and the University of Minnesota's Center for Alternative Plant and Animal Products and that university's Cooperative Extension Service. Washington, Oregon and Idaho are the major producing states for hops and grow more than 50 million pounds of the crop each year.

So, I'm not sure how valuable, or accurate, the beer study is, because it seem to focus more on the brewery and retail angle, without looking at the ag impacts. In Oregon and Washington the hop crop alone was valued higher than the so-called economic impact on agriculture.

Maybe someone drank too much beer and couldn't do the math.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The numbers are amazing. That's not girl math! Do we really drink that much beer as a nation?

I had the priviledge of visiting the Czech Republic (largest producers of Fine Aroma Hops in the world) and was able to take in a day in the life of a Hop Farmer/Grower. I will never forget the smell of the hops as we made our way around the village where we were visiting family.

The farmers worked long hard days, but at least it was automated with local Czech made tractors. Walking through the village could prove hazardous due to the tractors careening from field to field.

Harvest time brought crowds to the street to celebrate the latest hop crop. Oh course beer drinking was required.

It makes me happy to know that everytime I pop a top I am helping my local and world economy. God bless agriculture!

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