Special Report

Beers Americans No Longer Drink

Source: Walmart.com

10. Icehouse
> Sales change (2011-2016): -6.6%
> Barrels shipped in 2016: 1.4 million
> Owner: Molson Coors Brewing Company

Molson Coors Brewing Company is the second largest brewer in the United States, accounting for one-quarter of all domestic beer shipments in 2016. Icehouse, a higher than typical alcohol content beer made by the company, is one of several core Molson Coors brands experiencing near nation-leading sales declines. Molson Coors shipped 1.4 million barrels of Icehouse in 2016, down 6.6% from 1.5 million barrels shipped in 2011. Due in part to waning demand, Icehouse is now one of the company’s least popular brands.

Introduced to American beer drinkers in 1993, ice beers — unlike more traditional brews — are chilled at freezing temperatures during the brewing process, a method purported to give the brew a smoother taste. Icehouse is one of two ice-brewed beers to report some of the steepest five-year sales declines in the industry.

Source: Millerlite.com

9. Miller Lite
> Sales change (2011-2016): -12.6%
> Barrels shipped in 2016: 13.2 million
> Owner: Molson Coors Brewing Company

Available nationwide in 1975, Miller Lite popularized light beer in the United States. Appealing to a specific segment of beer drinkers, light beer has fewer calories and a slightly lower ABV than traditional brews.

Miller Lite is the fourth most popular beer brand in the United States, trailing only Bud Light, Coors Light, and Budweiser. However, like each of the other most popular beer brands, Americans have been ditching Miller Lite in recent years. Domestic shipments of the light beer fell 12.6% from 15.1 million barrels in 2011 to 13.2 million in 2016. As beers like Miller Lite fade in popularity, sales of some imported and craft beers are climbing steadily.

Source: Budlight.com

8. Bud Light
> Sales change (2011-2016): -13.4%
> Barrels shipped in 2016: 33.8 million
> Owner: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Bud Light is far and away the most popular beer brand in the United States. Anheuser-Busch InBev — the largest brewer in the country — shipped 33.8 million barrels of Bud Light in 2016, two times more than Coors Light, the second most popular beer brand. The beers’ popularity is bolstered by the company’s aggressive advertising strategy. One of 20 biggest advertisers in the U.S., Anheuser-Busch spent $1.9 billion on marketing in 2016 alone. Much of that spending went towards Bud Light, the official beer sponsor of the NFL, for at least the next half decade.

Despite a hefty advertising budget, Bud Light appears to be losing favor among American beer drinkers. Anheuser-Busch shipped 5.2 million fewer barrels of Bud Light in 2016 than five years earlier, a 13.4% decline.

Source: buschbucks.com

7. Busch
> Sales change (2011-2016): -19.7%
> Barrels shipped in 2016: 4.8 million
> Owner: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Introduced by Anheuser-Busch in 1955, Busch beer is a staple in the brewing giant’s core North American brands. Busch shipments have fallen by nearly 20% in the last five years, from 6.0 million barrels in 2011 to 4.8 million barrels in 2016. The long-term decline in demand for Busch is part of a broader problem Anheuser-Busch is facing. Sales of the company’s most popular brands, including Budweiser and Bud Light, are also down considerably over the same period.

In recent months, however, Busch has actually been a glimmer of hope for Anheuser-Busch’s American market. Dragged down by lower domestic demand for Budweiser and Bud Light, the company reported a 5.6% slide in total U.S. sales in the third quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, Busch was one of the few brands to report improving third-quarter U.S. sales.

Source: walmart.com

6. Natural Ice
> Sales change (2011-2016): -20.9%
> Barrels shipped in 2016: 2.7 million
> Owner: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Natural brand beers comprise Anheuser-Busch’s sub-premium beer lineup in the United States. Sub-premium beers are relatively inexpensive and often less popular than slightly more expensive beers. Introduced in 1995, 18 years after Natural Light, Natural Ice is aged at colder temperatures than non-ice beers for a purportedly smoother flavor. It also has a higher ABV than more traditional beers.

Shipments of Natural Ice are down 20.9% from 3.4 million barrels in 2011 to 2.7 million barrels in 2016. The declining sales are part of a broader trend affecting other ice beers and sub-premium brands. Still, despite waning demand, Natural Ice remains the best selling ice beer in America.