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Lori Levy
Beer Institute
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AMERICA'S FOREFATHERS WERE GREAT PROMOTERS OF BEER

Washington, DC, June 30, 2000 -- As our nation prepares to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, may people donÕt know that Thomas Jefferson wrote much of the document in a Philadelphia tavern, according to Beer Institute.

"Beer has been part of American culture since the days before our nation was founded. And AmericaÕs brewers are proud to continue the great tradition of beer," said Jeff Becker, president, Beer Institute. In fact, many people are unaware that:

  • After long weeks at sea, and with the most important of their provisions almost gone, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock on a blustery November day in 1620. An entry in the diary of a Mayflower passenger explains the unplanned landing at Plymouth Rock: "We could not now take time for further searchÉour victuals being spent, especially our bere..."
  • Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adam, and James Madison vigorously promoted the brewing industry in the colonies. No sooner had the colonies of Pennsylvania, Vermont and New York been founded, than their governors established breweries to provide their subjects with refreshments.
  • One of George WashingtonÕs 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.
  • George Washington was an accomplished brewmaster, and maintained a private brewery at Mount Vernon. His handwritten recipe for beer, said by his peers to be superb, is still on display at the New York Public Library.

Today, there are more than 1,500 brewers in the United States, and these brewers, with their wholesale and retail partners, contribute $187 billion to the U.S. economy, and directly and indirectly employ close to 2.5 million Americans who earn $60 billion in wages and benefits.

"Beyond the historical and economic contributions, brewers are leaders in providing information to the public urging safe and responsible alcohol consumption programs, and through support of effective awareness and prevention programs, they have helped to greatly reduce the misuse of alcohol products," Becker added.

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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.

 
   
 

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