O-20. U.S. beer industry insights

Presenter: Lester Jones, Beer Institute, Washington, DC

The U.S. beer industry is in the midst of significant demographic and economic changes. The combined impacts of the 2008 recession and the coming-of-age of the millennial generation have clearly left their mark on the U.S. beer business. Despite these setbacks, the beer industry has adapted to a new marketplace and set a new course. The Beer Institute and its predecessor organization, the USBA, have been tracking the beer industry since the 1940s and have gathered detailed data and insights that help explain where we have been and where we may go from here.

Lester Jones serves as chief economist and senior director of research services for the Beer Institute. In this capacity, he serves as the primary researcher and economist on issues affecting brewers and importers of more than 90% of the beer consumed in the United States. He is responsible for the biennial “Beer Serves America” study showing the total contribution of the beer industry to America’s economy through the impact of jobs, wages, and taxes, from the national level to individual state legislative districts. He is also a regular presenter at industry events around the country and comments on industry trends in consumption, taxation, and economic policy. Lester joined the Beer Institute in 2004 and brings 20 years of business and economic research experience to the beer industry’s national trade association. Prior to joining the Beer Institute, Lester was with Arbitron, Inc., an international media and marketing research firm. At Arbitron, he managed consumer research studies. Prior to Arbitron, he was assistant director of the Regional Economics Studies Institute at Towson State University. Lester received his M.S. degree in economics from the University of Delaware, where he specialized in regional economics and forecasting. He obtained his B.A. degree in economics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

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