Who's the country's biggest brewer?
A Pennsylvania company has surpassed Boston Beer to become No. 1, though it still has only 1.2% of the US market.
Anheuser-Busch, the maker of the No. 1 beer Bud Light? Nope. That's a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), which is based in Belgium.
How about MillerCoors, which makes No. 2 beer Coors Light? Nope. MillerCoors is a joint venture of London's SABMiller (SBMRY) and Molson Coors (TAP), which operates out of Montreal and Denver.
The biggest U.S. brewer is now D.G. Yuengling and Son, based in Pottsville, Pa., the Allentown Morning Call reports. Yuengling saw shipments soar 16.9% last year to 2.5 million barrels. As a result, it barely squeaked into first place, surpassing Sam Adams maker Boston Beer (SAM), which rose 8% to 2.4 million barrels.
"It just floors me that so much of our beer industry is owned by foreign concerns," Dick Yuengling, the brewery's fifth-generation owner, told the Morning Call. "We were not in any race to be the largest domestically owned brewer, but it's a tremendous honor for us."
And Yuengling's sales will likely increase for 2012 because it just started selling beer in its 14th state, Ohio, the Morning Call reported.
Yuengling's growth is even more remarkable because the industry has been in a prolonged slide. Total beer shipments fell by 1.4% last year, Advertising Age reported.
The beer industry saw another shakeup last year: Coors Light surpassed Budweiser to become the No. 2 beer. It was the first time in decades that Anheuser-Busch hasn't controlled the top two beers in the country.
The following video has more details about Budweiser's long slide.
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It's interesting, and a little sad, that Yuengling can be the top U.S. brewer but have only 1.2% of the market. The company ranks No. 8 in overall market share. Even Pabst Brewing Co. is bigger, but Pabst doesn't actually brew its own beer, so it doesn't count as a brewer. And North American Breweries, which sells Genessee and Magic Hat, gets much of its volume from Canada's Labatt beer, Advertising Age reported.
Americans seem to be just fine with drinking foreign-owned beer. When InBev took over Anheuser-Busch four years ago, some observers thought U.S. beer drinkers would revolt, Advertising Age reported. That hasn't happened.
"The average consumer has a short memory," one industry expert told the magazine.
On another note. This beer is great cold or warm. Black & Tan is best! Which is the way beer should be drank anyway. Cold beer is Americanized. My grandfather would take a hot poker out of the fire and warm his beer with it.
However, a cold beer after a round of 73 with your buddies is priceless.
Rocky Mtn High prefers his bud lite over the craft beers. Rate beer scores it a zero.
If you truly enjoy beer, jettison the Bud/Coors/Miller stuff and brew your own. Homebrew is far better tasting and you have the ability to make whatever you like. I enjoy darker beers and stouts in the winter and lighter golden ales in summer.
BTW, hats off to Sam Adams who has supported home brewers and small breweries during the last Hops shortage....very cool.
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Consumers are very status conscious in Asia, Africa and other emerging-market areas. This is especially true in China.
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