It’s no secret that Americans love beer. Some 42% of those who drink alcohol name beer as their favorite tipple, according to a Gallup poll, while only 34% opt for wine.
We are not, however, close to being the thirstiest consumers of suds. That honor goes to the Czech Republic, whose citizens — in 2017, the last year for which figures are available — downed some 137.38 liters (just over 36 gallons) of beer per capita, according to Statista. We’re way down in 12th place worldwide, managing a mere 74.90 liters (not quite 20 gallons) of beer — slightly less than Latvia, Slovenia, Romania, or Bulgaria, though perhaps surprisingly, almost a gallon more than Australia.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed domestic shipping volume data provided by industry advocacy group Beer Marketer’s Insights to identify America’s biggest beer brands.
And while craft beer sales are growing — they were up 4.7% last year over 2017, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis report — the market for big commercial brands (the kinds of beer that appear on this list) actually declined 1.5% over the same period. In fact, 19 of the 31 beers ranked here lost traction between 2013 and 2018.
Whatever the reason, it probably wasn’t economic. Beer is actually cheaper now than it used to be. When 24/7 Wall St. recently researched the price of a six-pack every year between 1954 and 2014, we found that in inflation-adjusted dollars, a six-pack cost $11.67 65 years ago, and only $8.88 in 2014.
Mass-market brews aren’t going anywhere soon, however. Last year, the U.S. beer industry shipped 202.2 million barrels, enough to fill more than 2.8 billion cases of 24 12-ounce cans or bottles, according to America’s Beer Distributors. And 82% of the beer we drank was produced domestically. Only eight of the country’s biggest beer brands were imported.
As a look at this list will reveal, the majority of the country’s best-selling beers — 22 of them — are produced by just two companies, MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev. It’s also obvious from this ranking that we love light (or “lite”) beer. Roughly a third of the brews listed here fall under that category, including the top three best-sellers. We’re obviously a health-conscious people.