This Bud’s For You

It’s just not what it used to be. From CNN:

Before 2001, Budweiser was the top-selling U.S. beer, but it relinquished that crown to Bud Light. Coors Light knocked Budweiser out of the second spot in 2011.

Now Miller Lite has taken over third place, relegating Bud to No. 4, according to sales estimates from the trade publication Beer Marketer’s Insights, which has kept track since the mid-1970s.

Though Miller Lite is now part of the top three, its sales dipped in 2017 — they just didn’t fall as far as Bud’s. In fact, all four top-selling beers slipped last year.

People just aren’t drinking beer like they used to. (Confidentially, no one is drinking beer like I used to.) Even the name brand craft beers are slipping.

Pabst expanded too quickly and had to cut jobs last year. So did Summit Brewing and Green Flash. Magic Hat and Pyramid parent North American Beverage shipment volume is down 14% over the past five years. Smuttynose, New Hampshire’s largest independent brewer, is being auctioned off.

Shipments fell at Boston Beer Co. (SAM) and Sierra Nevada, the two largest craft breweries. Six of the top seven craft brands’ shipments fell in 2017, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.

Before CNN told me, I didn’t even know Pabst was a craft beer. I thought it was just cheap.

But there’s a lot of craft beers these days. Before, if you wanted to drink a craft beer, you had to drink Samuel Adams, or Sierra Nevada. Now there’s a dozen different breweries to choose from at your grocery store.

We even have brew pubs in El Paso, and beer is better fresh.


  1. I think that Bud and Miller both cut their own damn throats (or, cut off their noses to spite their faces), by over advertising Miller Lite and Bud Lite. At the same time, I am convinced that Miller did change something about Miller High Life, which used to be a very good beer (forty years ago), in a deliberate effort to push consumers over to that gawdawful Miller Lite. Now, I fear that there are just too many choices – mostly bad – due to all the so-called craft brews. Likewise, look what the big guys have done to the competition for lo, these many years. Blue Moon was a good brew (still is), but lost something when bought up by Miller/Coors. Celis, over in Austin, was on its way to something, when Miller bought them out. Great regional brands are gone, all over the map. A sad state of affairs, for me. Thank God we still have Mexican beers, though.

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