East Hawaii News

Report Tallies Economic Impact of Hawaii Beer Distributors

March 13, 2013, 1:03 PM HST
* Updated March 13, 2:05 PM
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As Hawaii residents are well-aware, beer is big here in the islands.

“Pau hana” is often followed by the purchase of a few bottles, pushing Hawaiians into the upper stratosphere of national consumption statistics.

According to the Beer Institute, an interest group representing thousands of brewers nationwide, islanders chug down over 32 gallons of brew per person, per year.

All that bubbly appears to be generating a lot of buzz in our local economy.

A recent University of Delaware study estimates that across the state of Hawaii, beer distributors are responsible for over $200 million in economic activity.


Simply getting beer from it’s point of origin and into the hands of bar owners and retailers is estimated to generate 850 direct jobs paying over $47 million in wages here.


Of course, someone still has to sell and pour the stuff. At least 630 jobs garnering over $28 million in wages are thought to be generated indirectly through beer distribution in the islands.

According to the study, distributors in Hawaii were responsible for over $41 million in state, local, and federal tax revenue. This does not include state general excise taxes or additional taxes at the county level, which likely add tens of millions more to state and county coffers.

The report also notes that beer distributors spend an estimated $62,980 in Hawaii on charitable activities and community events, including alcohol awareness and education.


According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, up to 17% of Hawaii adults are estimated to engage in binge drinking behavior.

The University of Delaware study was distributed to the media by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA). The full results of the study are available at the NBWA website.

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