Special Report

America's Fastest Growing Beer Brands

10. Bud Ice
> Sales change (2009-2014): 20.8%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 2.3 million

Anheuser-Busch claims that Bud Ice, introduced in 1994, was the first ice-brewed beer in America. The process is loosely based on a traditional European practice of brewing a strong beer by freezing the brew and then removing the crystals. Bud Ice has a 5.5% alcohol content, compared to Bud Light’s 4.2% alcohol content. Bud Ice’s best-selling competitor, Milwaukee’s Best Ice, sold roughly 900,000 barrels less than Bud Ice last year. Further, Milwaukee’s Best Ice’s sales declined by 0.7% between 2009 and 2014, while Bud Ice’s U.S. sales grew by more than 20%.

9. Michelob Ultra
> Sales change (2009-2014): 30.9%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 4.5 million

Michelob Ultra was first introduced by Anheuser-Busch in 2002 as a healthier beer option with the tagline: “Lose the carbs. Not the taste.” The brand has associated itself with competitive sports and, more recently, active lifestyles in general. Today, Michelob Ultra is one of the fastest growing beer brands in the world, with a 30.9% increase in sales from 2009 through 2014. The beer has been a major asset for parent company Anheuser-Busch, which posted a 45% profit plunge in the third quarter of this year compared to the same time period a year ago.

8. Yuengling Lager
> Sales change (2009-2014): 34.0%
> Parent company: D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc.
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 2.3 million

Founded in 1829, Yuengling is the oldest operating brewery in the United States. With only two breweries — one in Pottsville, Pennsylvania and another in Tampa, Florida — Yuengling is only available in 17 states, all of them east of the Mississippi River. While many Americans may not be familiar with Yuengling, it is one of the most rapidly growing beer brands in the country. Despite a nationwide decline of 8.4% in top beer brands’ sales over the five years since 2009, sales of the Pennsylvania lager have increased by 34.0%.

Yuengling garnered international attention in 2010 when President Barack Obama sent a case of America’s oldest lager to then Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper following the U.S. loss to Canada in the men’s gold medal hockey matchup in the Winter Olympics.

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