If you asked someone from, say, the last 100 or so years what liquid drove the American economy, they'd probably say oil, or tomato juice if they're really weird. But they'd be (partially) wrong, and the true answer should inspire us all: according to the Beer Institute, not only does the American beer market directly and indirectly employ around 2,000,000 people, but one job in a brewery or wholesaler supports 45 jobs outside of it -- and not just because the people in those jobs go to the bar after work.
The recent study -- which took into account years of economic data and required drinking/looking at lots of beer -- also concluded that the brewing industry generates around $246 billion for the US economy and earns $79 billion for the folks working within it, and proposed a sort of "Beer Ripple Effect", where a single brewery job can create positions in agriculture, distribution, retail, and lots of other industries.
The Beer Institute also broke down exactly how many jobs have been supported by beer in each state, with California leading the charge with 241,640. You can find the exact figures right here. So stay thirsty, America, and keep driving that economy!
Adam Lapetina is a food/drink staff writer at Thrillist, and has never been more happy to be a cog in this great machine of a nation. Read his musings on Twitter at @adamlapetina.