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Thorne heads up communication at Beer Institute

Chris Thorne
Chris Thorne
The Beer Institute has hired Chris Thorne as vice president of communications, it announced Monday.

Thorne, 44, has been director of public affairs for Growth Energy, the ethanol trade group. He served more than seven years in the communications office of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., including four years as communications director before taking over as chief media and political strategist for Conrad.

Before his years on Capitol Hill, Thorne was a reporter for the Associated Press, where he covered banking, manufacturing, farming, energy and politics.

The Beer Institute represents the makers of more than 90 percent of beer sold in the United States. The industry includes more than 1,800 brewer and importer establishments, 3,300 beer distributor facilities and 547,000 beer-selling retail establishments. The industry directly and indirectly employs approximately 1.8 million Americans. In 2011, beer sales rose 2 percent to more than $98 billion, the largest share of revenue and volume within the alcohol beverage sector.