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Study says Beer cures all ills, including economic ones


by Dave Porter
According to the latest study the Beer industry has created
120,000 more jobs since 2001 and added $18 billion more to the
economy, so drink up!If you
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Feb 16, 2005 (AXcess News) Reno - A new study shows that 120,000
new jobs were created in the beer industry since 2001 which has
boosted the economy by $18 billion. If only Greenspan had mentioned
the study Wednesday when he addressed central bankers on the U.S.


economy. Beer-related businesses contribute more than $162 billion
annually to the U.S. economy, according to a study by the Beer
Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA).


According to figures in NBWA's latest study, the industry's
economic impact includes nearly 1.8 million jobs paying more than
$54 billion in wages as well as more than $30 billion in federal,
state, and local taxes generated and paid, including consumption
taxes."This study demonstrates that the beer industry is more than
just those who make and distribute our products," said Jeff Becker,
President of the Beer Institute. "We are an industry of farmers,
can manufacturers, truck drivers, retailers, and many others.

While
the economic impact of the industry is significant, brewers and
wholesalers are also committed to promoting the responsible
consumption of their products and to improving local
communities."
While the Beer Institute's president Becker boasts on the
industry's impact, major brewers are eyeing foreign markets for
growth - not domestic opportunities.Advertisement
Recent moves by the world's major brewers have been into China
and the consolidations taking place like the Molson and Coors'
(NYSE: TAP) merger that was just completed, is most likely going to
cut into Becker's organization's figures. Though in all fairness,
the Beer Institute's study did not forecast growth.

Friday, Molson
Coors Brewing Co. announced that it was closing its Tennessee
brewery, cutting 400 jobs in the process. The brewery is expected
to close in late 2005. The Memphis plant, which has a brewing
capacity of 3 million barrels a year, produces Coors Light for
export, plus Zima XXX, Keystone Light and Blue Moon.

It is one of
19 breweries owned by Molson Coors which employs about 15,000
people.
The employees at the Memphis plant are Teamsters. Union
representative, Nate Jackson, told the Associated Press that
"company officials will meet with
employees to talk about help that may be available."
Though Becker's Institute paints a rosey picture economically
for the beer industry, global consolidation of brewers and wineries
is having just the opposite effect.


Australia's Foster Group Ltd., which is under pressure from
shareholders to produce results after its acquisition binge, has
been eyeing the U.S. market more as an opportunity to expand.

The
company made a play for Australia's Southcorp, Ltd. recently after
buying a control block in the wine distributor with strong ties in
the U.S.
One of the biggest markets brewers are trying to crack into is
China.

The British based brewing giant SABMiller (OTC: SBMRF)
announced in September that it purchased the Chinese brewing
interests of Australian brewer Lion Nathan for $154 million.
In May, Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) announced that it was
acquiring a 29% stake in Harbin Brewery Group Limited (HKSE
0249.HK), a leading brewer in China.Motley Fool's Chris Malone said
in a story Monday that "the industry's real story is the
consolidation wave sweeping the world and the effect it's having on
industry leader Anheuser-Busch.

"
As global consolidation continues, economies will dictate where
manufacturing takes place. If SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch can
dominate enough brewing capacity in China, most likely US breweries
will be replaced with cheaper foreign look-a likes whose costs are
far less to manufacture in China than in union-dominated US
plants.AXcess News attempted to contact Becker and a Teamsters
spokesperson. Both were unavailable for comment.

We plan a
follow-up story with both sides viewpoint of the U.S. brewery
industry and its job outlook. Will it shrink or not?
AXcess News will be reporting on any new market trends related
to this story.

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