As the holiday season approaches, it’s the perfect time to come together with loved ones, share laughter and gratitude, and count our blessings. Indeed, there is no better complement to the joys of being together with friends and family than enjoying a delicious feast. And there is no better way to accompany a memorable meal than with an ice-cold beer.
In Pennsylvania, beer is more than just a beverage. It catalyzes connections and brings people together across our state. The holidays, perhaps more than any other season, embody the essence of the commonwealth’s brewing industry.
Pennsylvania’s beer industry contributes immensely to the state’s vibrancy and economic stability. Employing nearly 88,000 individuals across various sectors, from agriculture to retail to manufacturing, beer helps keep our economy hopping along.
Pennsylvania’s brewing mastery not only keeps the beer glasses clinking but also pours a steady stream of high-paying jobs, serving up over $5.1 billion in wages and benefits for the people of Pennsylvania each year.
This robust employment sector reflects the deep-seated tradition of brewing in the state. Pottsville, Pennsylvania, for instance, boasts America’s oldest brewery, that of D.G. Yuengling & Son.
The economic ripple effect of Pennsylvania’s beer industry extends beyond job creation. It is a pivotal contributor to the state’s fiscal health, pouring in a staggering $2.3 billion in tax revenue. This infusion of funds is crucial to pay our public servants, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters what they are due. It also helps maintain our infrastructure and support essential public services that ensure the well-being of every Pennsylvanian, including those who choose not to drink.
As we relish the Keystone State’s brewing heritage and the joy a frosty pint brings to our holiday celebrations, we must also remain attentive to the industry’s future. Policymakers in Harrisburg play a pivotal role, and their decisions can help or harm this vital sector.
Our lawmakers must be vigilant, ensuring that any reforms to the state’s alcohol regulatory environment foster growth and innovation—while at the same time preserving the unique character of Pennsylvania brewing. Given the beer industry’s positive impact on our state, the stakes are simply too high for legislators to fall asleep at the wheel.
Our communities depend on a stable regulatory environment rooted in decades of precedent. Altering the tried and true regulatory and tax regime governing alcohol in Pennsylvania must be done with extreme caution to ensure they do not result in unintended consequences.
As we gather with loved ones this holiday season, sharing stories and laughter over meals and glasses of our favorite fall and winter-themed beers, let’s raise a toast to Pennsylvania’s beer industry. Here’s to the jobs it sustains, the economic growth it stimulates, and the communities it fortifies. Let’s celebrate the brewing history in our state and commit to protecting and promoting it for future generations.
Please remember to drink responsibly. “Hoppy” holidays, Pennsylvania!