Brewers and beer enthusiasts from across the state gathered to celebrate and taste the craft beers of Maine at the Bangor Beer Festival on Saturday, June 22, 2013. The festival featured 15 craft brewers from across the state. Photo by Carter F. McCall Credit: Carter F. McCall | BDN

The beer industry contributes $2 billion to Maine’s economy each year and supports 15,531 jobs in the state, a new economic impact study found.

Those jobs account for $595 million each year in wages and benefits, according to the industry study commissioned by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute. The study was released Wednesday.

The industry also generates $368 million annually in business, personal and consumption taxes.

Memorial Day marks one of the top beer selling holidays of the year and the start of the summer beer selling season.

The beer industry is made up of brewers and importers, independent beer distributors and licensed retailers. The study includes all types of beer.

Another study released in January that focused on craft brewers in Maine found that breweries and related activities by their suppliers and employees contributed a total of $260.4 million to the Maine economy in 2017, up from $225 million in 2016. That study was done by the Maine Brewers’ Guild and the University of Maine School of Economics.

“We contributed $260 million out of the $2 billion, which shows there is room for growth for craft beer in the state,” said Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild.

According to the new study, nationwide the beer industry generates more than $328 billion in economic activity, produces more than $58.6 billion in tax revenue and supports more than 2 million jobs.

Independent beer distributors directly employ 141,600 Americans, up more than 19 percent in the past decade. Brewers and beer importers directly employ 69,928 Americans. About 58 percent of brewing jobs are linked to large and mid-sized brewers and beer importers.

The Beer Serves America study was compiled by the independent economics firm John Dunham & Associates.