AB InBev’s North American CEO Joao Castro Neves warns of beer losing its throne as the largest American alcohol market segment as soon as 2030. This projection is based on statistics showing a dramatic 33% loss of market share in the 21-27 year old demographic between 2006 and 2016. In the former, beer made up 65% of total alcohol consumption, falling to just 43% in 2016.
Suggested reasons for the steep decline include the encroachment of hard-liquor in traditional beer strongholds, such as sports stadiums, and the expanding marijuana legalization movement.
Ronal den Elzen, president and CEO of Heinken USA explains, “Every consumer today drinks on average one bottle of beer less per week than they did 20 years ago. If this is not a wake-up call that we have to do something, I don’t know what is.”
While craft beer has been a shining light in a declining market, even it is seeing a slow down. While the number of players has seen rapid growth to more than 5,000 operating breweries at the end of 2016, compared to just 2,475 in 2012, production volume saw only a 5% growth in the first half of 2017, compared to the 8% seen just a year earlier. Read the full story here.
Mexican Craft Tries to Shed National Image
When you think of Mexican beer, you probably think of one of the myriad of light colored, light flavored, fizzy lagers often paired with a lime and served on a beach. While the major players such as Corona, Dos XX and Modelo have dominated the market, and such the perception of Mexican beer, for so long, there is a significant craft beer movement south of the border.
While craft beer only comprised of approximately 1% of the total Mexican beer market in 2012, compared to the 12% share experienced in the US the same year, the market is growing enough to see a handful of brands are starting to trickle into America. One such brand is Colorado native Jordan Gardenhire’s Baja Brewing Company.
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Initially, Gardenhire survived on the huge tourist numbers seen in the region, predicting that 50% of his business came from non-Mexican patrons. Even then, his biggest seller was a blonde ale, the closest thing available to the trademark style of the nation. However, he has noticed a shift in recent times. “Suddenly our pale ale jumped up and so did our black ale.”
And this movement is visible outside of his doors. While as few as 20 craft breweries existed in Mexico in 2008, estimates put the number closer to 650 today. While the growth is definitely lagging behind that of the US, it stands to reason that we may see more and more Mexican craft beer on this side of the border in the coming years.
A Bewildering Basis for Irish Stereotypes
While the stereotypical image of a drunken Irishman is nothing new, research suggests that the time-honored expectation has a surprisingly strong basis.
Records regarding stonemasons working in Clontarf, near Dublin, in 1565 show that workers were allowed 14 pints of ale per day. A document dated 1590 shows that Dublin Castle staff consumed 264,000 pints of ale in the year, averaging 8 pints per person, per day.
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Dr Susan Flavin, Lecturer in Early Modern History at Anglia Ruskin University in the UK discovered that ale was seen as a vital part of daily nutrition in 16th century Ireland. She estimates that the ale of the time may have been significantly more calorie-dense than its modern counterpart. While modern ale typically weighs in at 180-200 calories, Flavin explains that historically it may have contained 400-500 calories per pint. The beer of the time was oat based, resulting in a thick and creamy brew.
So There You Have It
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