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Cheers! Economics of Alcohol Part of AAEA Annual Meeting

BEER Section sponsoring sessions featuring various aspects of ever-changing industry

The Brewers Association says the majority of Americans now live within 10 miles of a craft brewery. It’s a part of the alcohol-producing industry getting stronger and more diverse as more people choose to make and buy craft beers and spirits.

“In the early 1980s there were fewer than 100 breweries in the U.S.,” says Joshua Berning of the University of Georgia, “now the number of breweries nationwide is over 5,000 this past year.”

And with the growth of the industry comes the growth of research into beer, wine, and spirits. Berning is part of the AAEA BEER Section (Brewing and Enology Economic Research), which is part of three in-depth sessions during the 2017 AAEA Annual Meeting in Chicago July 30-August 1:

  • “Beer versus Wine”
  • “Wine, Spirits, and Beer: Alcohol Consumers and their Impact”
  • “The Changing Landscape of the Beer Industry: Input Usage and Consumer Preferences”

“This has been a part of every society but is an area where very little research has been done,” says Michael McCullough, head of the AAEA BEER Section. “We’re going to be looking at different types of markets across the U.S. and how they are changing.”

“Beer uses a lot of traditional ag products and makes a huge economic impact,” Berning said. “We’re interested in how this has changed over time, what is going into beers, and how the production of beer is changing as well.”

If you are interested in attending or learning more about these sessions, or to schedule an interview with one of the participants, please contact Jay Saunders in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 20 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit

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