The Number of Breweries May Be Up, But Beer Consumption Is Still Down

Breweries more than doubled between 2007 and 2012, despite the trend away from beer. The answer: craft beer.

National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Add to Briefcase
Matt Vasilogambros
July 7, 2014, 6:17 a.m.

It may not seem like it after a booze-filled Fourth of Ju­ly week­end, but Amer­ic­ans are drink­ing less and less beer now.

This isn’t ac­tu­ally a new trend. Gal­lup data show that beer pref­er­ence has stead­ily de­clined in re­cent years. As of 2013, just 36 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans say they prefer beer, in line with the 35 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans who say they prefer wine. That’s a 20-point swing in 20 years.

New num­bers from Beer Mar­keter’s In­sights show that the trend is con­tinu­ing, as U.S. beer con­sump­tion de­clined from 28.3 gal­lons per drink­ing-age per­son in 2012 to 27.6 gal­lons in 2013. From 2002 to 2012, the study notes, beer con­sump­tion de­clined 8.6 per­cent, while wine con­sump­tion in­creased by 15.2 per­cent and spir­it con­sump­tion rose by 20.9 per­cent.

What’s in­ter­est­ing, though, is that there are more brew­er­ies in the U.S. — up from 398 in 2007 to 869 in 2012 — ac­cord­ing to new U.S. Census Bur­eau data. And those brew­er­ies are em­ploy­ing more people than ever be­fore, with the work­force jump­ing 17.2 per­cent in five years to 23,456 em­ploy­ees.

So, how is it that the num­ber of brew­er­ies is go­ing up in the U.S., but beer con­sump­tion is go­ing down? The an­swer is craft beer.

The largest in­crease in the num­ber of brew­er­ies in the United States over the five-year peri­od is with those that have few­er than 20 em­ploy­ees (the size of most craft brew­er­ies) — ac­count­ing for 295 brew­er­ies in 2007 and 705 in 2012.

As The Wall Street Journ­al re­por­ted:

Craft beer has man­aged to stand out, pos­sibly be­cause of its fo­cus on styles and fla­vors”¦. Samuel Adams Bo­ston La­ger in­creased its volume of beer sold by 2% in 2012, reach­ing nearly 15 mil­lion cases.

While ship­ments of beer went up from $21.2 bil­lion in 2007 to $28.3 bil­lion in 2012, that sort of in­crease doesn’t ne­ces­sar­ily trans­late to more con­sump­tion. Rather, it’s likely be­cause of the high­er price of craft beer.

So, while you may opt for the pinot over the pils­ner, it’s hard to avoid see­ing the new craft beers that seem to pop up every week.

What We're Following See More »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
1 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
2 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login