Dear Mr. Brown, Governor of California

I recently read that you have proclaimed September as “California Wine Month” to celebrate the state’s multi-billion dollar industry. I whole-heartily endorse this proclamation, as there can be no doubt the vital role wine plays in the state’s tourism, agriculture and retail industries. That said, I would like to encourage you to consider another option – California Beer Month. Please review the following statistics from 2010, as published by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association:

5,940 – Number of People Hired Directly by California Brewers
$446,498,175 – Wages Paid by California Brewers

11,743 – Number of People Employed by Beer Wholesalers
$931,668,114 – Wages Paid by California Beer Wholesalers

99,557 – Number of People Employed by Beer Retailers
$2,753,293,958 – Wages Paid by California Beer Retailers

117,240 – Total Number of Jobs Created by California’s Beer Industry
$4,131,460,247 – Total Wages Paid to California Beer Industry Employees

$2,270,480,806 – Business Taxes Generated for California by its Beer Industry
$845,604,442 – Consumption & Excise Taxes Paid by California’s Beer Industry

These numbers say nothing to the agricultural impact brewers have in the state, especially when considering the state’s famous rice production. They also ignore the impact for tourism, construction jobs, insurance jobs and other business-related services used by brewers, wholesalers and retailers.

From a “state pride” perspective, I implore you to also consider these facts.

At the Great American Beer Festival in 2010, California Brewers took home these top honors:

Small Brewing Company (Mad River, Blue Lake)
Brewpub Group (TAPS Brewery, Brea)
Large Brewpub (Pizza Port, Carlsbad)
Small Brewpub (Pizza Port, San Clemente)

Additionally, California brewers brought home more medals than any other state in the country’s largest beer competition – 52 of the competition’s 236 medals (or 22%) – and more gold medals than any other state (19 of 79 awarded).

On a slightly larger scale, California brewers are still tops. At the World Beer Cupcompetition in 2010 our fair state brought home two of the biggest prizes:

Firestone Walker (Paso Robles) – Best Mid-Size Brewing Company
Ballast Point (San Diego) – Best Small Brewing Company

At this same competition California brewers brought home a whopping 45 of the 268 medals awarded! That’s three-times more medals awarded than to any other state – and more than any country aside from the USA!

Finally, California’s place in beer history cannot be understated. The great “Craft Beer Revolution” the nation is currently in began right here in the Golden State, with Fritz Maytag’s purchase of the famed Anchor Brewing Company in the 1960s. We also boasted the country’s first modern “Micro” brewery in New Albion Brewing. California also hosts one of the world’s most elite and celebrated brewing institutes at UC Davis, promising that the state, nation and world will continue to have the best beer possible.

In short, California brewers not only add generous revenues to this great state, but also contribute a great source of pride for those who appreciate a well-crafted beer. Our state is a world leader in brewing and there are countless examples that support this statement. I ask that you show the same commitment to our state’s beer industry that you have in rightfully endorsing the California Wine Industry. I plead that you consider this evidence and endorse a California Beer Month.

It seems fitting to me that California Beer Month should tie in with our state’s greatest beer celebration – San Francisco Beer Week, which falls in February.

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