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Beer Sales Are Rebounding Thanks To Craft Brews

By Anthony Todd in Food on Oct 5, 2012 4:20PM

Photo by Micheal Kiser, Good Beer Hunting

Did you know that beer sales were down? As beer geeks surrounded by a constant explosion of craft breweries, we really hadn't noticed much of a crisis. Yet beneath the surface of all of those Budweiser craft brew imitations, overall beer sales have steadily declined. But the long, dark, boozy night is over—beer numbers have finally begun to recover, driven by craft beer sales.

If you feel like going through the numbers, the Beer Institute has a lot of charts about beer consumption (what else would something called The Beer Institute make?). From a high of 213 million barrels sold in 2008, sales dipped to 208 million in 2009, 205 million in 2010 and 203 million in 2011. But the trend is apparently heading back upward—2012 so far has seen almost a 2 percent increase in beer sales.

Unsurprisingly, the trend is being driven by craft beers. Their sales figures are up 12 percent for this year.

In case you were wondering, Illinois hasn't contributed that much to the decline. We stayed steady at about 9 million barrels sold through from 2008-2010, though there was a slight decline in 2011. We're #6 in beer consumption in America and drink about 29 gallons of beer per person per year. Good to know we're doing our part.