It's international beer day tomorrow and what better way to celebrate than raising a glass to the local industry that generates $2.2 billion in economic activity.

The Brewers Association is calling on Kiwis to give thanks to local brewers "who turn barley, hops, yeast and water into the spice of life".

"New Zealand is blessed with perfect conditions for making and enjoying world-class beers," said Brewers Association chief executive Brett Heffernan.

"Each year, New Zealand farmers harvest 315 tonnes of hops and grow 57,200 tonnes of barley for the industry," Heffernan said.

Advertisement

"Kiwis may not be aware that the New Zealand beer industry generates $2.2 billion in economic activity across the value chain, from grain to glass. This includes purchasing $632 million worth of key goods and services from other sectors, including ingredients such as hops, malt and sugar ($97m), equipment and packaging ($218m), marketing services ($114m), financial and professional services ($90m) and commercial property services ($32m)."

Heffernan said the local industry directly employed about 1,880 people and underpinned $1.3b in on-licence industry (bars, restaurants) and $880m in off-licence (supermarkets, bottle shops).

Canning line at Deep Creek brewery in Auckland. Picture / Supplied
Canning line at Deep Creek brewery in Auckland. Picture / Supplied

"Meanwhile, Kiwi beer drinkers also make a massive contribution to the national economy. Last year, the government collected $290 million in excise tax and a further $290 million of GST through beer sales," he said.

New Zealand has gone through a craft-beer boom over the last decade reflected in an 85 per cent increase in new varieties produced by brewers since 2012.

"New Zealanders have come a long way since the days of the 6 o'clock swill of the mid-1970s," Heffernan said. "Today's beer drinkers are more discerning, better informed and socially equipped regarding responsible alcohol consumption than ever before."