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America's Changing Tastes Are Killing the 'Old Man Beer' Market

by The Drink Nation on Dec 11, 2013 in Beer
America's Changing Tastes Are Killing the 'Old Man Beer' Market

Just a few weeks ago we told you that the staggering growth of the craft beer market here in the US has forced the Brewer’s Association, the Colorado-based not-for-profit trade association that represents the majority of U.S. breweries — craft and otherwise — to relocate to larger headquarters.

But now it’s looking like thirsty Americans’ growing tastes for more full-flavored libations are taking a huge bite out of the “Old Man Beer” market.

USA Today reports that this major seismic shift is being felt by real sales numbers. Data provided by Beer Marketer's Insights shows a 2.3 percent decrease, across the board, in beer consumption. That’s nearly 4.8 million barrels.

While these numbers reflect a sharp nosedive for all beer sales, it’s the cheap, mass-produced commodity brands that are taking the biggest hit.

24/7 Wall St. crunched the numbers to identify nine beers Americans no longer drink. Below is an excerpt illustrates what the data revealed:

9. Labatt Blue

> Sales loss (2007-2012): 28.3%
> Brewer: Anheuser-Busch Inbev S.A./N.V. (NYSE: BUD)
> Barrels sold (2012): 650,000

8. Budweiser

> Sales loss (2007-2012): 28.8%
> Brewer: Anheuser-Busch Inbev
> Barrels sold (2012): 16,800,000
7. Heineken Premium Light

> Sales loss (2007-2012): 36.7%
> Brewer: Heineken International
> Barrels sold (2012): 440,000

6. Milwaukee's Best Light

> Sales loss (2007-2012): 39.7%
> Brewer: MillerCoors
> Barrels sold (2012): 1,110,000

5. Old Milwaukee

> Sales loss (2007-2012): 54.0%
> Brewer: Pabst Brewing Company
> Barrels sold (2012): 400,000

4. Miller Genuine Draft

> Sales loss (2007-2012): 56.4%
> Brewer: MillerCoors
> Barrels sold (2012): 1,390,000

3. Milwaukee's Best Premium

> Sales loss (2007-2012): 58.5%
> Brewer: MillerCoors
> Barrels sold (2012): 650,000

2. Budweiser Select

> Sales loss (2007-2012): 61.5%
> Brewer: Anheuser-Busch Inbev
> Barrels sold (2012): 625,000

1. Michelob Light

> Sales loss (2007-2012): 69.6%
> Brewer: Anheuser-Busch Inbev
> Barrels sold (2012): 350,000

This rather grim outlook for old man beer leaves a lot of uncertainty for dads and pop-pops all over the country who turn to these tried and true brands to quench their thirsts while on fishing trips, mowing the lawn, and bowling with the boys on league night. Maybe someone can hip these guys to the session beer segment of the craft beer market. 


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