Beer sales are down ... or up


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According to The Atlantic's post today, beer's lead over wine and spirits is 20 percent smaller than it was in the 1990s.

According to a press release from the Boulder-based Brewers Association, craft brewers enjoyed sales and volume jumps of 15 and 13 percent, respectively. As well, the craft has added 446 breweries since June 2012, totaling 2,538. They represent 98 percent of the industry, says the BA. (And a big one just expanded to Colorado.)

What does this mean? I don't know, but I would imagine it means that liquor, wine and good beer are all kicking crappy beer's ass.

“Demand for beer produced by small and independent brewers has never been higher, as evidenced by increased production and the hundreds of new breweries joining the playing field each year,” says Paul Gatza, director of the BA, in the release. “Beer drinkers nationwide are responding positively to high-quality, full-flavored, diverse offerings from American craft brewing companies that continue to innovate and push the envelope.”

Similarly, The Atlantic writes that the 18-to-29-year-old, and non-white, segments saw the greatest beer-drinking losses. The magazine has five theories:
  • Americans care more about their health than they used to
  • Blue-collar workers have taken a beating in the past two decades
  • Competing liquor-makers couldn't advertise on TV until 1996
  • Wine has become cheaper and ever more drinkable
and ...

(5) Tastes just change.

I really do wish I could tell you that I know exactly what hundreds of millions of people drink every day and also why. I really don't. Maybe young people prefer higher-alcohol drinks nowadays, because they're more efficient? Maybe people decided Bud Light is awful? Tastes aren't always explicable.

No matter what, I think we can all agree that the Great American Beer Festival is just getting ridiculous with how fast it sells out: This year set another record. If you weren't some of the lucky few, Denver Beer Fest runs the week before and up until the event. Details are here.

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