No one is buying beer anymore. According to the Beer Marketer's Insights president Benj Steinman, "They're the worst trends we've ever seen". Apparently, total beer shipments were down 2.1% for the first eight months of the year and five of the top six mega brands are slumping.
This is an interesting since I was just read an article not 20 minutes ago about a local craft beer that cant brew their beer fast enough to keep up with their orders. Surly Brewing, which was started with a home-made brewing kit in a garage 4 years ago has a 2 year waiting list for bars to get its original brews on tap.
It seems the market is shifting from the big bully everyone thought they should be friends with to the under-appreciated little guy that spent more time with his chemistry set than with friends at the beach for some summer fun. This is typical in today's culture. People don't want to be told what to drink; they want to discover it. They want a beer made with the absolute best ingredients available which produces delicious, small, sustainable batches; not the mass produced innards for a recipe that produces 986 million gallons a year. Today's beer drinkers need a face and a story behind the brews their swilling; not a board of directors and a bunch of factories.
Craft beers represent 7% of all beer sales in America and its trending higher every year. As for Surly, its the fastest growing brewery in the country and was named the Best Brewery In America by Beer Advocate Magazine's June 2007 issue's Top 50 American Breweries.
Hey MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch: people are definitely still drinking beer, their just not drinking yours.