Americans start to like beer again
After 4 years of declines, sales see a slight pickup as interest in craft brews and imports remains strong.
The 2012 increase in beer sales wasn't huge -- only about 1.4% -- but at least one worrisome trend for brewers appears to have reversed, reports The New York Post.
And while craft brews and imports appear to be responsible for much of the growth, even the biggest names in the business saw improvements as well. In fact, many brewers were able to raise prices last year, which helped them bring in more revenue, the Post reports.
A few other factors helped sales last year, including cheaper gas, plenty of leap-year partying and a warm, dry winter in parts of the country, said Brian Sudano, the managing director of Beverage Marketing, according to the Post.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) said its sales volumes grew in the U.S. last year for the first time since 2008, according to The Los Angeles Times. But the company still expected weak returns for the current quarter due to less disposable income and bad weather.
The company hit a notable milestone late last year: For the first time, more Budweiser was sold overseas than within the U.S. Sales were especially strong in China, Budweiser's No. 2 market, the Times reports.
Coors Light saw its eighth year of volume growth in the U.S. last year, but MillerCoors suffered some setbacks with its other brands. Miller Lite fell by low-single digits for the year, and sales to retailers of Miller64 dropped by high-single digits.
Although MillerCoors saw strong response to its Blue Moon and Jacob Leinenkugel brands, overall its domestic sales to retail fell by 1.3% last year. MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller (SBMRY) and Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP).
So many people drink that carbonated colored water "light" garbage, most of them don't remember -- or have never known -- what real beer tastes like.
Reminds me of an old joke about alcohol.
It took my money, my health, my job and my family, but I'm going to give it one more chance.
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