I always knew beer could cause a lot of problems, but I never really stopped to think about how many problems it could solve.  I humbly stand (and drink a cold one) corrected.  As is turns out, the money the beer industry puts into our economy could solve quite a few issues.

A new study commissioned by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute is reporting that founding father Ben Franklin's sudsy beverage of choice is responsible for pouring an astounding $4.3 billion in to the Louisiana economy.  On top off that, the brew business employs around 32,000 folks in the Sportsman's Paradise, and tosses a hefty $685 million directly to the state in the form of taxes.  Nationally, those numbers look way more impressive: $328 billion into the economy and $58.6 billion in tax revenue - with beer sales directly and indirectly supporting more than 2 billion jobs.  Just think of the new bridges, smooth roads, updated schools, and raises for politicians that money probably provides!

So the next time you responsibly pop a top on a frosty one, just know you're not just quenching your own personal thirst - you're cracking open a cold one for freedom.