Economic Contributions of the Distilled Spirits Industry

The Industry’s Role

The U.S. beverage alcohol industry is a major contributor to the economy, responsible for over $475 billion in total U.S. economic activity in 2014, generating $110 billion in wages and nearly 4.6 million jobs for U.S. workers.

In 2014, distilled spirits accounted for over $150 billion in total economic activity, or 31% of total economic activity from all beverage alcohol.

Contributing to State Treasuries

The beverage alcohol industry contributed nearly $25 billion directly to state and local revenues during 2014. Of that amount, distilled spirits accounted for over $10.6 billion or 43% of this direct revenue.

In 2014, beverage alcohol's total contribution to state and local revenues was over $50 billion. Of that amount, $24.7 billion came from indirect revenues such as corporate, personal income, property and other taxes generated by the beverage alcohol industry.

Total revenues from distilled spirits (direct and indirect) were $20.2 billion in 2014, or 40% of total beverage alcohol revenue.

A Heavy Tax Burden

Distilled spirits are one of the highest taxed consumer products in the United States.

Standardizing for alcohol content, the distilled spirits federal excise tax burden (per proof gallon) is more than double that of beer and almost triple that of wine. The federal excise tax burden per proof gallon for distilled spirits is $13.50. In comparison, the tax burden per proof gallon for beer and wine is $6.24 and $4.67, respectively.

Federal, state and local taxes accounted for $7.89, or 54%, of the average $14.59 price for a typical 750ml bottle of 80 proof distilled spirits in the United States in 2014.

Economic Resources

Recent Distilled Spirits Industry Review Presentations

© 2011 Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
1250 Eye Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 628-3544 www.discus.org