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At this rate, beer will disappear in 7 years

The latest Gallup Poll screams the news from the mountain tops. DRINKERS PREFERENCE FOR BEER FALLS 5%.

And, as in 2005, wine gains. So now 36% of drinkers prefer beer (that will be down to 1% in seven years if beer continues to lose 5% per year) and 35% favor wine. Lots of numbers that people who sell wine must love (look at the preferences of college graduates). Then, of course, there is the last paragraph.

While meaningful, this year’s shifts are not much different in magnitude from those seen in 2005 – changes that proved temporary. Whether beer continues to lose ground to other forms of liquor or rebounds may depend on the future direction of young adults’ drink preferences.

Maybe this will turn out to be a big deal and maybe it won’t. Certainly anybody running a brewery, particularly one with shrinking sales, should be bothered if it turns out that younger drinkers are abandoning beer for wine.

But what Gallup apparently missed when it formulated the questions — at least the ones we’re seeing the answers for — is that there’s beer and there’s beer.

6 Responses to At this rate, beer will disappear in 7 years

  1. brett September 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    Big beer(BMC) is definitely on the decline, but the fact that more people enjoy wine is a god thing. Everyone I know that likes wine is also aware of craft beer. I think the fact that people are more likely to enjoy wine means they are just as likely to try upper end beers. Also, I’d rather people drink wine than Bud select.

    • Stan Hieronymus September 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      It would appear you are getting your wish:

      Bud Select
      > Sales loss (2006-2010): -60 percent
      > Brewer: Anheuser-Busch InBev
      > Barrels sold (2010): 925,000
      Bud Select is Anheuser Busch’s primary product in the ultra low calorie beer segment. It has only 99 calories per can. The large brewery has put a large amount of money behind the marketing of the beer, which has Jay-Z as a spokesman. The product was introduced in 2005 and has steadily lost sales since then.

  2. Andrew September 15, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    The number of people who prefer “beer” may be shrinking according to a poorly conducted, biased poll. But what were the % gains in sales of craft beer for the first half of 2011? 15%? I’m not too woried.

  3. Australian Beers September 15, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    I can’t believe that Beer is losing popularity..

  4. Darren September 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    is it time to start an anti wine campaign? I mean that stuff is bad for you, high ABV%, made in uncontrolled conditions, usually stored in dirty unhygenic wooden barrels, and it gets people drunk. I think its time for the government to step in and stop this spreading menace.

  5. Mike September 16, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    From other statistics I’ve seen, the most popular microbrewed beers are the simple pale ales and pilsener-style. So long as small brewers do their market research on the beer fan sites, they’ll limit the appeal of their products to those who use those sites. Meanwhile, they’ll lose the other 99.9999999 percent of the population.

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