People in rich countries are not drinking enough beer. By volume, sales in 2010 fell by 1.5% in America and 2.3% in western Europe, says Nomura, a Japanese bank. Only “craft” ales from small independent breweries did well, rising by 11% in America. Wealthier drinkers quite like these exclusive brews but have, overall, gone off their beer in favour of wine and spirits.
Until recently big brewers tried to make up for flagging sales in the rich world by pushing into emerging markets.
In contrast to Anheuser-Busch's massive advertising budget, a successful craft brewer such as Victory Brewing Company in Downington, Pennsylvania ($3.4 million in annual sales), cannot contemplate a meaningful advertising campaign. So, quite simply, they do not have one; promotional expenses have never exceeded 1.5 percent of sales, and traditional media-based advertising expenses are held constant at zero. Instead, Victory has been able to respond to a consumer-generated demand "pull" through product differentiation.
Rather, most of TV's pioneer beer advertisers were regional brewers. In 1945, New England's Narragansett Beer sponsored the first telecasts of Boston Red Sox games, though neither the brewery nor the baseball team seemed overly confident about the then-infant medium. In fact, Sox management granted Narragansett the sponsorship rights free of charge, telling brewery officials, "We don't know what we're doing, and neither do you."
Directly and indirectly 2.5m jobs in Europe can be attributed to the beer producing and selling sector, which brings Europe's national governments a total EUR57bn in beer tax revenues.
Craft brewers currently provide an estimated 103,585 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs.
Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2011 was 13% by volume and 15% by dollars compared to growth in 2010 of 12% by volume and 15% by dollars.
Total beer production increased from 3.6 million barrels in 1865 to over 66 million barrels in 1914. By 1910, brewing had grown into one of the leading manufacturing industries in America. Yet, this increase in output did not simply reflect America's growing population. While the number of beer drinkers certainly did rise during these years, perhaps just as importantly, per capita consumption also rose dramatically, from under four gallons in 1865 to 21 gallons in the early 1910s.
Dutch immigrants quickly recognized that the climate and terrain of present-day New York were particularly well suited to brewing beer and growing malt and hops, two of beer's essential ingredients. A 1660 map of New Amsterdam details twenty-six breweries and taverns, a clear indication that producing and selling beer were popular and profitable trades in the American colonies (Baron, Chapter Three). Despite the early popularity of beer, other alcoholic beverages steadily grew in importance and by the early eighteenth century several of them had eclipsed beer commercially.
The U.S. beer industry got its start in the 1840s and 1850s with the introduction of lager style beers, brought by German immigrants. Before that point, beers were heavily oriented toward ale, porter, and stout and were mostly brewed at home.
Reflecting on the long-anticipated arrival of lager beer in his town, one old immigrant commented, "To have lager beer from the tap in the land of hard liquor, what German friendly to drinking could not have felt the pull of home?"
And feel it they did. By the mid-1870s, the number of breweries operating in America had blossomed to an astounding 4,000. Over the next twenty-five years, the nation's beer production soared from about 10 million barrels (31 gallons per barrel) to nearly 40 million barrels per year. Brewery owners who once spent 18-hour days slaving over malt kilns and brew kettles now began to reap the rewards of their labor. As the never-ending stream of European immigration continued to flow, beermaking dynasties were being forged in virtually every city in the nation. Almost exclusively, Germans were at the helm.
Total amount of beer cans consumed each year: 67 billion