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Texas Beer Consumption Goes Flat

high unemployment among core beer consumers, tougher drunk driving laws seen
The Beverage Information Group says Americans consumed less beer in 2010, guzzling 2.8 billion cases of beer less than the year before, for the fourth straight decline.
That amounts to a 1.9% drop in beer consumption, with the biggest drops being seen in consumption of light beer, which was the trendy rage in the 1980s.
Kim Forsythe, whose company operates several restaurants and bars around Texas, says drinkers are turning more to specialty beers and to non traditional drinks as they seek out a testy but less fattening beverage.
"An educated palate is trying more options that are being offered, from Mexico and Europe," he told 1200 WOAI's Berit Mason.
But the report says the gains in the specialty beer segment can't make up for losses caused by higher fuel costs, which leave people with less discretionary income, and high unemployment among core working-class beer drinkers.
"They're looking for 'skinny drinks,' now," Forsythe said. "We have other alcohol drinks now that are very popular."
Another factor which is influencing the decline in beer sales is a new concern about drunk driving, and far tougher enforcement of drunk driving laws.
The BIG says so called 'super premium beers,' as well as 'craft and specialty beers' are seeing an increase, something Forsythe is seeing among his Texas customers.
"It is becoming more sophisticated, the growth of home grown beers, and many communities now have their own local breweries," he said.

21 Sep. 2011

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