7. Pabst Blue Ribbon
> Sales change (2009-2014): 47.0%
> Parent company: Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings LLC.
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 2.7 million
Founded in 1844, Pabst Blue Ribbon was originally known as Best Select Lager. After earning awards at several international beer competitions, the brewery began tying blue ribbons to its beer bottles. Following years of customers associating the brew with the iconic blue ribbon, the beer’s name officially changed in 1898 to the one U.S. beer drinkers recognize today.
While beer sales have declined nationally from 2009 through 2014, sales of Pabst Blue Ribbon have increased by 47% over the same time period. In fact, since 2005, sales of the award-winning beer have more than doubled. A recent study published by the Journal for Consumer Research found that the beer’s sudden spike in popularity is likely due to the brewer’s anti-mainstream advertising strategy that targets the millennial generation’s beer drinkers.
6. Blue Moon
> Sales change (2009-2014): 82.6%
> Parent company: SABMiller
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 2.1 million
While many of the fastest growing American beer brands date back to the 19th century, Blue Moon is a relative new comer. Born in Denver, Colorado in 1995, Blue Moon’s flagship Belgian White was inspired, as its name suggests, by Belgian Wit beers. Unlike many of the fastest growing beer brands in the United States, Blue Moon is a wheat beer characterized by citrus flavor and aroma. It seems that Americans have found much to like in the European style brew. Blue Moon sales shot up 82.6% from 2009 through 2014.
> Sales change (2009-2014): 103.1%
> Parent company: SABMiller
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 975,000
Leinenkugel is one of the many brands that has benefitted from the recent surge in popularity among craft beers. Leinenkugel produces a variety of shandies and flavored beers, which have successfully made it into the mainstream. Leinenkugel has been a family-owned beer brand for decades but was acquired by Miller Brewing Company in 1988. As the popularity of craft beers has risen, so has Leinenkugel’s success. From 2009 through 2014, the combined sales of the various beers the brand sells — including the Summer Shandy, Berry Weiss, and Creamy Dark — have more than doubled.
4. Dos Equis
> Sales change (2009-2014): 115.7%
> Parent company: Heineken N.V.
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 1.8 million
Dos Equis is one of a handful of foreign brands among the fastest growing beers in the United States. Since the introduction of the highly successful “The Most Interesting Man in the World” ad campaign in 2006, sales of the beer have been on the rise. From 2009 through 2014 alone, sales of Dos Equis grew by 115.7%. Dutch brewer Heineken acquired the thriving brand in 2010. According to Bloomberg, John Nicholson, head of Heineken’s Americas unit, has since referred to Dos Equis as the company’s “shining star.”
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