5 Ways to Save Money in the Beer Boom

The Brew-haha

If recent numbers are predicting future times, we’re in the midst of a beer boom. According to a recent Nielsen study, last year, beer sales increased by 5 million cases between the end of February and the beginning of September. But in the same period of 2011, sales had decreased by 1.7 million cases.   Jeff Slankard, the Wine and Beer Director for Barons Market says, “Taste, variety and packaging all drive consumer’s choices.” And they’re certainly driving sales. Craft brews hit the market in a big way, adding new tastes and more variety to the beer industry. In the summer of 2012, 582 new beer brands launched in the market, according to Nielsen, like Stone Brewing Company’s Pillow Mint at the Ritz or Rouge’s Voodoo Doughnut Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ale. And craft breweries aren’t the only ones hoping to tempt consumer’s taste buds; domestic brewers are turning to unusual flavors and adding variety to their lineup. Bud Light Lime anyone?   Social changes are also affecting sales. In the past, beer was the stereotypical drink of men and college students. Now Gary Monterosso, author of Artisan Beer and regular guest on the History Channel’s “The Epic History of Everyday Things,” is noticing a change – women. “Beer drinking is no longer a man’s domain,” he says, noting he has seen an increase of female patrons at beer festivals. And Nielsen found more people leaving the wine and spirits aisle in favor of the beer aisle. According to the study, almost half of customers new to beer in the past six months came from buying wine and spirits exclusively. Whatever the cause, strong sales are the result – over 98 billion in sales in the U.S. in 2011, according to the industry group The Beer Institute. Billions in sales and growing popularity might lead some brewers or retailers to up their prices. Let’s hope not, but we might as well take a proactive stance and start saving money on the beer we buy. 10 Most Expensive Beers in Baseball