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FOR IMMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Lori Levy
Beer Institute
202-737-2337

BEER WAS SIGNIFICANT IN FOUNDING FATHERS' LIVES
Today, Beer Plays Responsible Part in American Lives

Washington, DC, July 4, 2001 - The framers of American Independence were men of vision, courage and wisdom. Less well known is that they were also involved with beer.

Thomas Jefferson wrote much of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia's Indian Queen Tavern. Later, after two terms as President, he experimented with brewing techniques during his retirement years at Monticello. Benjamin Franklin is said to have conducted business regularly in Philadelphia's taverns, and one of George Washington's first acts as Commander of the Continental Army was to proclaim that every one of his troops would receive a quart of beer with his daily rations.

Today, nearly 90 million Americans enjoy beer responsibly. Jeff Becker, president, Beer Institute, said, "Over the years, America's brewers have initiated and funded programs that, along with those of governmental agencies, business associations, citizen groups, parents, and others, have taken the fight against alcohol abuse to new levels. And those efforts are working."

College drinking, drunk driving and underage drinking are all significantly lower than they were when government agencies and academic groups first started reporting this data more than 15 years ago. In fact,

  • The percentage of college freshman who say they drink beer frequently or occasionally, was 34 percent lower in 2000 than 1982
  • The number of fatalities in drunk driving crashes decreased 41 percent between 1982 and 1999 while the number of licensed drivers increased by 25 percent during the same period
  • Fatalities in crashes involving teenage drivers (ages 16-20) decreased 64 percent between 1982 and 1999

The great men who founded this country would no doubt be pleased that the enjoyment of beer remains an American tradition to this day. And America's brewers are proud to be part of the continuing commitment in helping Americans enjoy that tradition - responsibly.

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Beer Institute, established in 1986, is the national trade association for the brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. The Institute is committed to development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility.

Jeff Becker is available for interviews July 2, 3, 5, and 6. Please contact Lori Levy at 202-737-2337.

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