This Is Totally NOT My Fault!

Well maybe it is. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that 2009 saw the biggest decline in beer sales volume in the last five decades. But that only goes for the big awful macro-brewed crap, where sales volume is down 2.2%. Craft beer sales are up this year, with Sam Adams showing an increase of 1.7%. As someone who is a cheerleader for great beer, I take a little credit (as you should, too) for helping to change peoples’ opinions abut what good beer is.

So sales of bad beer are slipping, but sales of good beer are on the rise. I expect that this is a trend that will continue as people realize that bad beer is, well, really awful. It’s also a sign that the apocalypse in NOT upon us, the economy will improve, and we’ll all get to live out our dreams of being fat, rich and sassy. I mean, even 7-Eleven is talking about adding more craft and regional beers to their offerings “to better satisfy our customers.”

The times they are a’changing indeed!

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Categories: Beer

Author:Jim

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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13 Comments on “This Is Totally NOT My Fault!”

  1. Don
    January 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Unfortunately the Craft Beer sales while they are up, still probably don’t account for more than a fraction of a percent of the big awful crap beer sales. The times are a’changin….slowly.

  2. January 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    It’s good that it’s happening somewhat slowly. There will be a lot of market share to take when we open a brewery. The big boys have nowhere to go but down. You’re right, Don. I think the market share of the big boys is still around 93% or so.

    • January 26, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

      I agree that it’s happening slowly, but this is like the young saplings growing after a forest fire. The big breweries have gutted the country of indie brewers since Prohibition ended (from hundreds in the early 20th century to 44 brewing companies in 1984) but it seems like the tide is turning. Not only is the craft brewing industry gaining steam, the big boys are slumping.

      Anyway, there’s reason to hope. And hope is good.

      • Don
        January 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

        I agree that hope is good, and their is reason to hope. Mike, I think I commented on a post on THFB that while the tide is beginning to turn that it will be interesting to see what the next decade brings. The big boys only know one thing…Oligopoly. So it is likely that you will see a lot of acquisitions over the next decade. Hopefully that will not eventually kill the craft beer industry. It reminds me of some futuristic space movie I watched once with Sylvester Stalone where he played a cop that was cryogenically frozen and then reanimated in the year 2200 or something like that, and all restaurants were Taco Bells. Hopefully we won’t see a lot of this, but I’m not so sure the sleeping giants aren’t going to wake up and start beating people up with big bags of money.

  3. January 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    What’s wrong with Taco Bell?!!

  4. January 27, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    Given that a couple of Burger Kings will now be selling beer that may cause a bump back up, but of course it’s a bump in the “crap” department, as I’m pretty sure it’ll be Bud and Miller…according to BK, “America’s favorite beers.” Ugh.

    • January 27, 2010 at 10:05 am #

      When I was in New Orleans, I loved the fact that they sold beer at the fast food restaurants. But they stocked Heinekken and the local favorite Abita, so at least there were a couple of decent options (I enjoyed Abita a lot down there).

      That said, I’m not sure I’m ready to see beer at my local BK. Not sure why, but the thought brings out the Puritan in me. Weird. Must be my kids.

  5. Don
    January 27, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    When you think about it beer at fast food restaurants is a natural progression. The first wave of the fast food generation is hitting fifty. They still eat at these places and probably would enjoy a brew with their meal. I’m thinking that they now need to come out with an adult happy meal that includes a beer and a condom!

    • January 27, 2010 at 10:59 am #

      Eww. Just eww!

  6. Katie Pizzuto
    January 27, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    LMAO, I’d certainly rather have a beer with a burger than a HFCS-laden soda (like at Fuddruckers) but doubt I would take the opportunity given the options. That being said, I fear for the thought of having pimple-faced kids with fake IDs getting blotto at their local BK and wreaking havoc on the establishment and its patrons. Not to mention that, in order to SERVE alcohol, you have to be 18 in most states, which would kill a lot of job opportunities for teenagers…ahh, well, there’s always Starbucks. 🙂

  7. January 28, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    I think its only going to be ‘select’ BK Beer places. Kind of a specialty thing, not all BK’s are going to do it, and only select states.

    I’m not sure that people’s tastes are changing in beer as much as they are spending less money as a whole, beer gets cut out of the family budget for things like milk or food.

    The uptick in craft beer sales is puny compared to what the big guys lost in volume. I just don’t think there is a direct correlation between slumping overall beer sales and a slight increase in craft beer sales.

    • January 28, 2010 at 7:32 am #

      I think the increase in craft beer sales is telling, especially when you see what’s happening to macro brews in this economy. The fact that craft beer consumprion is growing in these tough times points to the momentum it’s gaining.

    • Katie Pizzuto
      January 28, 2010 at 8:58 am #

      It’s definitely only select BKs Scott, but everything starts somewhere 🙂 Seriously though, I do fear that if it does really well it’ll expand exponentially, though I’m sure not everywhere.

      Also agree, Jim…people are perhaps spending the same amount, just spending it more carefully and on better products. If my budget is X dollars a month, I can spend it on a couple of cases of crap beer or perhaps only 1 case of better beer. Quality over quantity.

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