Sales of IPA (known as India Pale Ale in some parts, but quite often simply called I-P-A) in the United States surpassed those of Pale Ale for the first time this year, according Symphony IRI.
The data is primarily for packaged goods sold in supermarkets, convenience stores and big box stores but there’s no reason to believe it would be different if you tossed in, say, beer sold on draft in pubs and bars. Officially, “seasonal” is the No. 1 craft beer style, but that’s another discussion.
In his “Craft Brewing & Mid-Year Category Sales Review” Dan Wandel of Symphony IRI told Brewers Association members that IPA sales increased 39 percent in the first half of the year, continuing an ongoing trend that moved it past Pale Ale. He also said that IRI now tracks 253 IPA brands, up 76 in the last six months.
As well as reporting the basic facts (craft beer dollar sales increased 14.3 percent in the first six months, but sales of Blue Moon and Shock Top beers are growing even faster) Waddell took a look at what else beer drinkers buy when they go shopping for their favorite brands.
When craft beers are in a shopping basket there’s a good chance that imported wine will be. Products such as natural cheese, fresh cut salad, yogurt, orange juice and canned tomatoes also index highly. When other beer is in the basket there’s a much higher chance cigarettes, processed cheese slices and frozen pizza will be.
And we wonder how stereotypes get formed.