The good news for beer drinkers is that America now has more beers available than at any point in our nation’s history. Where you used to find shelves full of the same old standbys everywhere across country, most shops are now stocked with an array of local and craft beers providing a far more diverse selection. But the bad news for those old standbys (and your grizzled uncle who loves them) is that all these new brews are cutting into their sales, and many of America’s best known brands have been seeing considerable decline.
If you’re wondering which beers are struggling the most, 24/7 Wall St is back once again with their annual list of the “Beers Americans No Longer Drink” documenting the major brands that have seen the biggest sales declines. To avoid capturing knee jerk reactions, the list looks at sales over the most recent five year period: Last year’s list looked at the change in sales from 2009 to 2014; this year’s list looks at the changes from 2010 to 2015 – meaning though the list is new, you’ll see many of the usual suspects.
Topping the list this year is Miller Genuine Draft. The brew that tantalized me in my youth with classic rock-driven ad campaigns shipped just 850,000 barrels in 2015, a drop of 54.7 percent from 2010. “Americans drank over a million fewer barrels of MGD in 2015 than they did in 2010, continuing a long-term trend of decline for the brand,” writes 24/7 Wall St. Its beer brethren, Miller High Life, hasn’t fared much better. The Champagne of Beers only shipped 3.6 million barrels in 2015, a 28.2 percent decline, landing it the number four spot on the list.
Granted, 3.6 million barrels is still a ton of beer. By comparison, in 2014, all of Sierra Nevada Brewing only produced about 1 million barrels. Still, think of it this way: in 2010, Miller High Life shipped over 5 million barrels, meaning the brand has lost more business in the past five years than the entire amount of product Sierra Nevada makes in a year. That’ll certainly hurt a beer’s bottom line.
Things aren’t looking so hot for Anheuser-Busch on this year’s list either. Five A-B products are included: Natural Ice (#10), Budweiser (#9), Busch (#8), Natural Light (#6) and Bud Light Lime (#3). Again, the amount of these beers being shipped is still pretty remarkable. 4.9 million barrels of Busch were still shipped in 2015. But then again, parking lots won’t get drank in by themselves!
Here’s the full list:
10 Natural Ice
7 Keystone Light
6 Natural Light
4 Miller High Life
3 Bud Light Lim
2 Old Milwaukee
1 Miller Genuine Draft