Beer = big bucks.

The beer industry generated $13 billion for the Ohio economy last year — up from $10.8 billion just two years ago, a new study says.

The Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association last week released their updated Beer Serves America report, which analyzes the impact of beer on the economy.

The biennial study notes that the industry — everything from national brands to importers to neighborhood breweries — contributed $5 billion in direct economic impact in Ohio through brewing, wholesaling and retailing. There was another $4.3 billion through businesses that supply the industry such as agriculture, construction and tourism; and an additional $3.8 billion in induced economic impact.

Marty Lindon, the brewer at Millersburg Brewing Co. in Millersburg and a retired banker, admitted that the overall figure is staggering.

“It is amazing that the number is that huge,” he said. “I would have never dreamed it was that big.”

He credited some of the amount to increased beer tourism, with beer drinkers traveling to communities with many breweries and spending money on hotels and food there.

“Ohio is attracting more people than ever because of the amount of breweries that are in the state,” Lindon said.

Ohio has seen the craft beer scene explode over the last several years. In 2011, there were fewer than 50 breweries. Today, there are more than 200, including major national breweries Anheuser-Busch InBev in Columbus, MillerCoors in Trenton and Samuel Adams in Cincinnati.

The study — completed by John Dunham & Associates — estimated that beer generated $1.9 billion in business and personal taxes, and an additional $545 million in consumption taxes in the state.

Nearly 40,100 people rely on the industry in the state by working at breweries, wholesalers and retailers.

The Buckeye State ranked seventh in the nation in terms of overall economic impact, behind California ($48 billion), Texas ($26.7 billion), New York ($23.5 billion), Florida ($21.6 billion), Colorado ($15 billion) and Illinois ($13.9 billion).

Nationwide, the Beer Serves America study concluded that the U.S. beer industry has a $350 billion overall impact on the economy, and generates more than 2.23 million jobs, providing $103.3 billion in wages and benefits. It also paid more than $63 billion in taxes.

Two years ago, the report estimated beer provided $253 billion in economic activity.

“Beer is more than a refreshing adult beverage,” Beer Institute President and CEO Jim McGreevy said in a prepared statement. “The beer industry is vital to the United States, generating nearly 2.23 million jobs and contributing more than $350 billion to the American economy. Beer Serves America demonstrates how brewers, beer importers and beer industry suppliers are creating jobs, providing wages and benefits to working Americans and supporting the economy in every state and every congressional district.”

The online Beer Serves America report is interactive, allowing people to see the impact in every state and even congressional and state legislative districts. To read the full report, go to www.beerservesamerica.org.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his beer blog at Ohio.com/beer. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ .