Special Report

Beers Americans No Longer Drink

3. Miller Genuine Draft
> Sales change (2009-2014): -54.5%
> Parent company: SABMiller
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 1.0 million

Miller Genuine Draft, or MGD, was first introduced by MillerCoors in 1986 and brewed with a cold-filtering process intended to mimic the taste of draft beer. In the 1990s, MGD marketing tried to appeal to the average American with its macro brew ad campaign, telling consumers: “It’s time for beer to stop acting like wine.” With the increased popularity of micro brews in recent years, it seems MGD’s image may be hurting sales. From 2009 through 2014, sales of Miller Genuine Draft plunged by 54.5%, while sales of craft beers generally increased. Due in part to the sales decline, MillerCoors is closing the plant where Miller Genuine Draft was first brewed.

2. Milwaukee’s Best
> Sales change (2009-2014): -55.7%
> Parent company: SABMiller
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 510,000

While the beer bills itself as Milwaukee’s Best, sales figures indicate otherwise. From 2009 through 2014, sales of Milwaukee’s Best sales have declined by more than 55%. In 2014, Milwaukee’s Best shipped only 510,000 barrels of beer, the lowest amount of the 35 top beer brands after only Bud Select. As is the case with Milwaukee’s Best Light, the company’s marketing of the beer emphasizes how Milwaukee’s Best is a beer for men. Explicitly excluding one half of the market may partially explain the beer’s poor sales performance.

1. Bud Select
> Sales change (2009-2014): -60.4%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 475,000

Brewed by Anheuser Busch InBev, Bud Select is part of a small family of low calorie beers, which includes Select 55 — 55 denoting the number of calories in the beer. While Bud Select contains 99 calories, it is still much less than the 145 calories in regular Budweiser. The popularity of light beers over the past decade partially explains the market dominance of beers such as Bud Light, but the trend has not benefited the low-calorie Bud Select brand. Bud Select sales fell by 60.4% over the five years through last year, the largest decline of any major beer brand sold in the United States.

Click here to see the fastest growing beer brands in America.