Beer sales! According to the Beer Institute, beer sales are rising for the first time since 2008. After falling three straight years, beer shipments have risen each month during 2012. Much of the rebound is being driven by small-batch “craft” brewers, reflecting shifting tastes among drinkers.
Beer sales have dropped from 2008 to 2011 partly because its key customers, blue-collar men in their 20’s, were hit particularly hard by the recession. Job numbers are still way down but improving. The unemployment rate for men 20 to 24 years old was 15.2% in August. As the unemployment rate improves, beer sales should continue to improve.
Drinkers are branching out from traditional American lager to ales, porters and wheat beers from fast-growing small brewers. The number of breweries in the U.S. topped 2,000 earlier this year for the first times since the late 19th century. Will this trend continue? I think so, but only time will tell.