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Craft Beer Now Beating Budweiser Shipments

Craft beer shipments are now exceeding the shipments of Budweiser, the brewery’s flagship lager, and proclaimed “King of Beers.”

Now, if you look at the Wall Street Journal infographic above, it paints a pretty sexy picture of the craft beer taking a bite out of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s famous lager. However, don’t forget Bud Light, and the “Ritas” series of releases are adding to this this decline.

If you’ve been reading Beer Street Journal over the past few years, you’ve read articles about A-B shipment decline, and the speculation surrounding lower sales. A little perspective on the decline of “Bud Heavy“- Budweiser’s peak was 25 years ago in 1988, when shipments were 50 million barrels a year, down to just 16 million barrels in 2013.

The U.S. beer market is about a $100 billion dollar business each year. Craft beer captures a little over 7% (estimated) of that market. So does Budweiser.

U.S. craft beer shipments just broke 16.1 million barrels annually, now edging Budweiser shipments. (Just that beer, not Bud Light, or other offerings.)

Anheuser-Busch hopes to capture the attention the 21-27 year old drinking demographic (the area of most decline) with the launch of tequila meets beer offering – Oculto coming in 2015.

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5 thoughts on “Craft Beer Now Beating Budweiser Shipments

  1. Way to go Beer Street Journal. Another fine journalistic piece to devour craft beer drinkers already swollen head. We should certainly hang our collective beer hats on 7% of the business. That won’t even pay for the gas to run the beer trucks to your favorite pub. Let’s all be thankful for the huge domestic beer brands that do pay for that gas to carry your precious craft brands to retail. Let’s put it into perspective, let’s say a beer truck carries 1600 cases of beer and 7% of it is craft…do the math and stand at the pump with our company and all the great employee’s that sell, service and commit to all of these brands…not just craft but all beers. We have many great craft brands along with the AB portfolio and proudly serve them all as a beer family that creates jobs and a livelihood for good hard working people. Last but not least, there are in the ballpark of 3000 craft breweries in the nation…so you are comparing that many craft breweries to one brand…ONE BRAND. What logic does the make? It is like saying a KIA is just as good as a Mercedes because it has four tires. I hope as often as you bash the “bigs” you can see your way clear to appreciate them as well as the hard working employees in each state that sell and service all beers without prejudice. I will go home tonight and raise 1 craft beer to every 7 Budweiser to the Beer Street Journal and your fine work at detailing the reality of the real beer world. CHEERS!!

    • Woah Budman. I just read the article, and I fail to see where the author attack Budweiser, the employees, families or distributors.

      It’s reporting numbers. The king of beers shipped 50 mil barrels 25 years ago. That’s dropped off. Some to changing tastes for craft, some because the brands you sell (you scream A-B distributor) have eaten away at Lager. Bud Light and Coors Light are in a sales battle. Then comes Lime A Rita.

      To your point. If a business as big as your employer is losing money or sales, guess what. That’s news. If Kia Sorrento was outselling Mercedes-Benz, guess what again? News.

      Yes your ONE brand is huge. Don’t you think the world knows that by now?

      He didn’t attack your integrity as a rep. Or those hard working people you work with. To me it sounds like you won’t be so unbiased next time you go on a sales call. Because you sound a little threatened.

    • If you can’t brew em buy em right Budman? I have to constantly tell my Bud rep to shut up and stop pushing crap beer at my bar. Congrats, you got Goose, Bluepoint and 10 Barrel. Let’s see you guys brew your own. I won’t hold my breath.

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